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Special Needs Child Support Disputes in DuPage County

 Posted on September 02, 2022 in Child Support

naperville chlld support lawyerParents raising a special needs child can be fraught with an entirely different set of challenges than raising a child who does not require the extra medical and therapeutic care that special needs children may require. What constitutes a child with special needs varies and can include afflictions and conditions such as Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autism Spectrum Disorder (AUD), and cerebral palsy (CP). Caring for a child afflicted with cognitive, behavioral, developmental, or physical problems and disabilities can be emotionally taxing and may encumber some parents with financial burdens.

Child support disputes between divorced parents of a child with special needs can easily arise for many reasons. In some instances, the obligee spouse, usually the non-contributing primary caregiver of the child, may need additional support for the child’s medical expenses. The obligee spouse may also rightfully feel that they cannot attain employment outside of the home because of their full-time job as the caregiver. The obligor, or breadwinner, on the other hand, may believe their ex-spouse is manipulating their child’s condition for financial gain. The court considers the best interest of the child to be paramount. A child support attorney adept at financial disputes between parents of a child with special needs can help facilitate a modification. 

Child Support in Illinois

Child support is the court-ordered payments that one parent, usually the primary breadwinner, disburses to the other for the child's financial support. Separate from parental responsibilities and parenting time, child support is intended to pay for the child's housing and basic needs, including health care. The amount awarded is determined by child support guidelines, which employ an income-sharing model that calculates both parents' net income. This lawful formula is deemed equitable.   

A judge can only modify a child support agreement if the parent can prove additional support is required for the child's medical expenses and personal and educational needs. Evidence could include a written diagnosis from an expert, medical records, and testimony from teachers or doctors. A judge will usually appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) who serves as an advocate for the child. After a GAL's investigation, they provide recommendations that significantly impact the judge's final decision.  

Alternative Financial Assistance

Caring for a child with special needs can sometimes be a full-time job with extensive medical and occupational therapy expenses. Along with tax breaks and deductions, the following government programs and not-for-profits can alleviate some of the financial burdens of raising a special needs child.

  • Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • Arya Foundation

  • Small Steps in Speech

  • Generation Rescue

  • Friends of Man

Contact a DuPage County Child Support Attorney

Pesce Law Group P.C. is a full-service family law firm, and we understand the emotional turmoil and financial burden associated with raising a child with special needs. Our steadfast child support lawyers and court-approved Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) are sensitive to the needs of our clients and relentlessly advocate for just solutions. We are proficient with child support modifications. If you need additional child support for your special needs child, or if your ex-spouse intends to misappropriate additional funds, we can help. For a free consultation, contact a Burr Ridge child support lawyer at 630-230-1002.


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