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Child Support for a Child With Disabilities

Posted on in Child Support

NOTE: As of July 2017, the law governing child support in Illinois has changed. Please see our Child Support page for more information.

Child Support for a Child With DisabilitiesIf you are ordered by the Illinois court to pay child support, generally that support obligation will end at age 18 or as long as the child is still in high school. However, when a child is disabled then a parent who pays child support may be obligated to pay child support even after the child reaches adulthood.

Child Support Rules Generally

In Illinois, child support is governed by the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. Generally, the parent with whom the child does not live is the one that is required to pay child support to the other parent. Illinois calculates the amount of child support owed based on the income of the parent that is ordered to pay it and the number of children the couple has together. For one child the amount is 20 percent, for two it is 28 percent, for three it is 32 percent, and for four it is 40 percent of the payor’s income. However, the court takes into account the circumstances of the parties, including the income and needs of the parties, and the income and needs of the parents.

Support Obligations for Disabled Children

As mentioned above, some children with disabilities are entitled to child support even after they have become adults. In order to calculate each parent’s ongoing support obligations, the court will look at all of the relevant factors. For example, if the adult child of the parties is living with one of the parents and being taken care of by that parent, the court will probably order child support to be paid to the parent that is doing the caretaking. However, if the child is living away from both parents, such as in a community home for people with disabilities or supportive independent living, the parents may be ordered to put money into a special needs trust for the child. The court aims to look at the circumstances closely and make sure that the child’s needs are being met.

2016 Changes to the Law

In the beginning of 2016, Illinois implemented many family law reforms. These changes may not necessarily change the outcome for parents of a disabled child as they are more clarifying than substantive, but it may make it easier for judges to order the appropriate amount of child support.  

One important change is disability and disabled are defined. The definition uses similar language to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The reforms also specifically state that when looking at the resources of both parents, their retirement savings should be taken into account. The changes also require taking into account the financial resources provided the child such as supplemental security income (SSI).

Contact Our Attorneys for Help

If you are involved in a child support action or want to make changes to the child support you pay or are owed, you need a knowledgeable child support lawyer on your side to help you make your case to the judge and/or other parent. Our passionate DuPage County child support attorneys at Davi Law Group, LLC can help educate you about your rights regarding child support and can advocate for you in court.


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