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Wheaton family law attorneysIt takes a great deal of money to raise a child, especially one with special needs. There are often added expenses for medical treatment, therapies, and perhaps even therapeutic or medical equipment. Thankfully, when parents are separated or divorced, these added expenses can be factored into an order for child support. Learn more, including how a seasoned family law attorney can improve the outcome of your case, in the following sections. 

How Child Support is Calculated in Illinois 

Illinois uses what is known as the “income shares” model to determine the amount of support a parent owes. The process starts with an economic table, supplied by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, to determine the cost of raising the child. 

That amount is then compared to the net income of each parent to determine what their obligation of support should be. The closer the receiving parent’s income is to the obligated paying parent, the less the support will generally be. The goal is to try and balance out the cost and ensure that neither parent is overly burdened by the cost of supporting the child. 


Wheaton divorce lawyersDivorce can significantly impact the mental, emotional, and financial well-being of any child, but those who have special needs’ are at an especially high risk. When one takes into account that an estimated 10 percent of the population has a family member with special needs, and the risk of divorce is significantly higher for them when compared to the general population (an estimated 86 percent compared to 50 percent), the importance of proper divorce planning becomes clear. Learn more about how to approach the process in the following sections, and discover how a seasoned divorce lawyer can help to improve the overall outcome of your case. 

Understanding What Could Be At Stake 

Minor and adult children with significant disabilities often need a lot of support from their families, health care professionals, community, and government. Unfortunately, if their parents go through a divorce and the process is not approached carefully, it may render the child ineligible for many of these types of assistance. As a result, the physical, mental, or financial well-being of the child may be negatively impacted. 


DuPage County divorce lawyersAny child can struggle with the divorce of their parents, but children with special needs are often more vulnerable to the changes and stress that often accompany the divorce process. As such, divorcing parents with special needs children are encouraged to go the extra mile to help their child cope. The following can help you learn some strategies to use with your child, and it can help you discover how an experienced divorce lawyer may be able to help.

Discussing the Divorce with Your Child

Divorce is about the parents, and their need to separate. However, children are still greatly impacted by divorce, which is why parents are encouraged to speak to their children before the process starts. Of course, talking to a special needs child is going to be different than talking to a child without special needs.


Posted on in Adoption

DuPage County adoption lawyers, special needs adoptionMany people decide to expand their family by adopting a child with special needs. This can be both challenging and rewarding for a family. Financial support can help a family deal with and overcome these challenges. Fortunately, state and federal adoption assistance programs can help prospective parents pay for expenses that will help their special needs child have the best life possible with their new family.

A Special Needs Adoption

A special needs child may have a developmental, behavioral or learning challenge. The challenge could be caused by a genetic mental health issue or exposure to drug and alcohol. In Illinois, a special needs child is a child who has a need or circumstances that might prevent adoption. The financial support is meant to remove these potential barriers and encourage an adoption. In order to qualify, the child must meet one or more of these criteria:


child support special needsGenerally, the duty to pay child support terminates when the child turns 18 or graduates high school, whichever happens last. The law is structured this way because there is presumption that after a child turns 18 or graduates from high school, he or she would be capable of supporting him or herself. However, under certain circumstances the legal duty to pay child support can continue past these two occurrences. One common situation where child support continues is when there is a child with disabilities.

The reason behind continued child support for a disabled child over the age of majority stems from the simple fact that the child is unable, for whatever disability, to support him or herself. Because of this, the legal and financial responsibility often falls on the disabled adult’s parents to continue the support. Unfortunately, disabled adults often have unique financial demands – like tuition for specialized educational institutions or excessive health care costs.

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