Divorces that involve children are often the most difficult and when a child has special needs, it can make the situation even more challenging, particularly when it comes to child support. Children with special needs tend to have more requirements for ongoing care and assistance, even after they reach adulthood. Family courts take this into consideration when determining child support and may expand a child support order after the child turns 18.
Do You Have a Child with Special Needs?
When it comes to matters regarding child support, special needs refer to a medical or mental health condition that prevents your child from functioning independently as an adult. Having a child with a serious health condition does not necessarily mean your child has special needs.
To determine if your child has special needs, the courts will carry out a process to assess what those needs are and if they warrant expanded child support.
You will need to assist the court with this process by providing certain documents, including:
- Your child’s health records
- Reports from your child’s occupational therapist, school counselor, speech therapist, or any other specialist your child may be seeing or receiving treatment from
- Your child’s academic needs
When making a ruling on this matter, a judge will always seek to do what is in the best interests of the child.
How Long Will Child Support Last?
Generally, child support in Texas ends when a child reaches the age of 18. However, if you are the parent of a child with disabilities, you know that your child’s needs will not end on their 18th birthday. Therefore, under Texas Family Code, § 154.001(a)(4), support may be extended for an indefinite period, depending on your child’s condition and if it is likely to change or improve.
To ensure your child continues to receive child support, you will need the testimony of medical professionals and medical records that serve as evidence that your child will need support long after reaching the age of 18.
Speak to a Knowledgeable Family Law Attorney About Your Child Support Case Today!
If you have a child with special needs and have concerns regarding whether or not child support will continue for as long as it is necessary, the legal team at Garza Law Firm, LLLP can provide the knowledgeable guidance and representation you need.
Reach out to our law office today at (214) 225-4344 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys to learn more about what we can do to help you.