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Non-Minor Child Support for a Child with Autism in Illinois

Posted on in Child Support

IL divorce lawyerAutism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that can cause difficulty with communication, socialization, and behavior. The condition ranges from extremely mild to severe. Some people with autism are unable to speak or take care of themselves. Others can handle everyday tasks but need assistance with more complex responsibilities.

As a parent of an autistic child, you may face significant child-related costs. Your child may need specialized education or childcare. He or she may participate in early intervention treatment services such as behavioral therapy or speech therapy. Some parents of children with autism forgo a career and stay home to care for their child full time. Expenses can quickly add up, and these costs do not disappear once the child turns 18. Fortunately, Illinois law provides a way for parents of children with disabilities to receive child support even after the child is an adult.

Financial Assistance for Divorced and Unmarried Parents with an Autistic Child

Unmarried and divorced parents in Illinois are often subject to a child support order. Typically, child support ends when a child graduates high school or college and becomes financially independent. However, a child with autism may not achieve the same level of independence during adulthood as neurotypical children. Illinois parents in this situation may be able to extend child support payments.

Illinois Law Regarding Child Support for a Disabled Child

Per Illinois law, a disabled individual is one with a mental or physical condition that “substantially limits a major life activity.” If your child’s autism meets this standard, you could receive non-minor child support payments. Non-minor child support may be paid directly to the parent with the majority of the parenting time or payments may be deposited into a special needs trust for the child’s benefit.

When determining whether to order non-minor child support, Illinois courts consider:

  • The parents’ financial circumstances
  • The standard of living the child would experience if the parents were married
  • The child’s financial resources
  • Whether the child qualifies for Medicaid or other financial assistance programs

Contact a Naperville Child Support Lawyer

It is estimated that the average lifetime cost of autism is over $1 million. If you have a child with autism and you are interested in extending your child support order to cover child-related expenses, contact Pesce Law Group, P.C. for help. Our skilled DuPage County family law attorneys can help you explore your options and determine the best way to provide for your child’s special needs. Call us at 630-352-2240 today for a free, confidential case assessment.

 

Sources:

https://www.autismspeaks.org/financial-resources-autism-help

https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html

https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=075000050K513

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