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How Will My Child’s Autism Affect Child Support?

 Posted on April 30, 2024 in Child Support

DuPage County, IL child support lawyerChild support is a complex part of the divorce process. An Illinois judge will decide which parent must pay child support and what amount the payments should be only after looking at many factors. The court will try to find the sweet spot where the child’s needs and the parents’ financial abilities meet.

If the child is autistic or otherwise has special needs, the judge will take that into account. What difference that might make is a question that an experienced Illinois family lawyer can help answer.

This article will discuss the details that a court takes into consideration when making child support decisions and how a special needs child factors into those decisions.

How Does a Court Calculate Child Support?

When calculating who should pay child support and how much should be paid, a judge will look at many elements, including:

  • The educational and developmental needs of the child

  • The physical and emotional condition of the child

  • Each parent’s annual income

  • The standard of living the child would have had if the parents were not getting divorced

  • Which parent has the majority of parenting time, also known as physical custody

If a child has special needs, the parents may be obligated to pay child care expenses and/or medical insurance.

Child Care Expenses

In the case of a child who has special needs such as autism, the court may order one or both parents to pay what Illinois law calls “child care expenses.” Child care expenses are in addition to child support and are meant to cover certain things that standard child support does not. Child care expenses may go toward:

  • Child care programs for the child if he or she is disabled

  • Before- and after-school care

  • Summer camps

  • Educational programs or vocational training for the parent to help him or her get a job

Like child support, child care expenses take into account the parents’ incomes. Whatever the amount is, it will appear in the child support order. 

Health Insurance

Child support is meant to cover basic healthcare. But if a judge feels the child requires extra care, he or she can also order the parents to secure health insurance for the child. This can take the form of public or private medical insurance, or cash medical support. If the parents cannot afford medical insurance for the child, they may be ordered to purchase medical insurance as soon as it becomes available at a “reasonable cost.”

Contact a Naperville, IL Child Support Lawyer

If you have a special needs child, he or she may require extra care that is not covered by basic child support. Ask a DuPage County, Illinois child support attorney about what other financial support your child may be entitled to. The attorneys at Pesce Law Group, P.C. are highly experienced in child support for special needs children and are available for a free consultation. Call 630-352-2240 for first-rate legal service today.

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