Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C.
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213, Hillside, IL 60162
High Point Plaza, 4415 West Harrison Street, Suite 213
Hillside, IL 60162



Determining Child Support Amounts for Special Needs Children

 Posted on February 08, 2017 in Family Law

Oak Park child support lawyerStatistics indicate that some 6,000 children are born with Down syndrome each year. Around 11 percent of school-aged children have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and approximately one out of every 68 children are diagnosed with autism. Then there are many others who are with born with a heart defect, spina bifida, cerebral palsy, or other defect, illness, or condition.

What happens when the parents of these special needs children divorce?

In some ways, the process is the similar to all divorces. Yet there are also some notable differences, particularly when it comes to how child support is determined. If you have a child with special needs and are concerned about how child support will be determined, the following information may be able to help you better understand the process.

Illinois Child Support Laws

Child support is determined by examining a number of factors, including the number of children shared between the parents, income of the supporting parent, and the needs of the child. There will be some changes, however, come July 1, 2017. Rather than being based upon the number of children and income of the supporting parent, child support will go to a shares model. It essentially examines the income of each parent and holds each parent responsible for their prorate share of support for the child.

Used by many other states, this new model could significantly impact those who have a shared parenting plan. It could also impact those with either major disparities or minimal disparities in income. Your attorney can help you determine which model may be used for your case, and how it may affect the outcome of your divorce case.

Special Considerations for Special Needs Children

When children with special needs require support, parents must be mindful of the care needed while the divorce is taking place. Further, divorcing parents and the courts must consider how long the child will need extra care. For example, a child with Down syndrome or cerebral palsy may need lifelong care, but a child with high functioning autism or ADHD may only need care until they become a legal adult. Other aspects you may want to consider might include the cost for:

  • Special therapies,
  • Medical insurance,
  • Special medical or therapeutic equipment,
  • Tutoring or other educational needs,
  • Transportation needs,
  • Respite care costs,
  • Special needs daycare costs, and
  • Medications.

Parents may also wish to include a special needs trust or a life insurance policy in their divorce. This can help to ensure that the child is cared for, even if a supporting parent and/or primary caregiver passes away. If either of these options are considered, parents may also want toward closely with an attorney to ensure their child’s ability to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is not hindered either now, or later on.

Contact Our Oak Park Family Law Attorneys

If you are planning on filing for divorce but are nervous about how your child’s needs will be met during and after the process, contact the Law Office of Vincent C. Machroli, P.C. for assistance. Dedicated and experienced, our Oak Park family law attorney will listen to your concerns, analyze your situation, and provide you with creative solutions designed to hopefully meet everyone’s needs. Call 708-449-7400 and schedule your free consultation to learn more.



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