Can child support continue for a disabled adult child?

Divorcing a spouse can be a concerning time if you have children and you fear losing the income of your soon-to-be ex. Receiving child support could relieve your doubts, but in your case, your child may have a serious disability. Even when your son or daughter becomes an adult, the disability will greatly impair your child’s ability to earn a living.

Child support generally ends in most forms when a child turns 18 years old. However, you know that your child will continue to need financial assistance and you fear your personal income will not be enough if you lose the support payments from your former spouse.

Continued support for adult disabled children

Illinois law allows for a parent to pay child support past the age of 18 in certain circumstances, such as when a child possesses a physical or mental disability. The state requires a child to have a disability that greatly limits life activity, have a record of this kind of limitation, or the determination must exist that the child possesses this limitation.

When your child first became disabled will be important. If your child acquires a disability after the date when you would lose child support, the law will not consider your child eligible for support into adult years.

Considerations for a disabled child

State courts will keep certain factors in mind when determining whether a parent should continue to give support to a disabled child into adulthood, such as the financial assets of each parent and the standard of living the child would probably enjoy if the parents had not gotten divorced. A judge will also look at whether your child owns any financial assets.

Additionally, a court will consider your child’s access to government assistance programs. Supplemental Security Income is one way disabled adults may receive an income if they cannot work. Your child may also benefit from the Home-Based Support Services Law for Mentally Disabled Adults. These benefits may diminish or eliminate the need for continued support.

Consider the best way to support your child

If you are the direct caretaker for your child, you will probably receive child support and use it for your child’s expenses. However, you might want to create a trust that exists independently of yourself to receive the money. State law allows for the creation of a trust to benefit a disabled child in these circumstances.

The child support system in Illinois helps divorced families in different circumstances. Even if your family situation does not seem common, you might find the system will still help you provide for your child.