Is My Adult Disabled Child Entitled To Financial Support From My Ex?

The answer is – it depends. The recent revisions to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA) has now segregated this provision into its own section (750 ILCS 5/513.5) and specifically allows for the support of a disabled non-minor child.

Section 513.5 allows a parent to file a motion asking for the support for a disabled child either before or after the majority of the child, but the condition creating the disability must have arisen during the child’s minority or while attending college. The statute also specifically defines a disabled person as an individual “who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.”

The statute also specifically states out three factors to consider in awarding support under this section. Specifically, a court is to consider:

a. the present and future financial resources of the parents including their respective ability to save for retirement.

b. the standard of living the child would have enjoyed had the marriage not dissolved, along with any other equitable factors; and

c. resources of the child including any financial or other governmental or social service resources provided for the child.

As a result, even though a spouse may be liable for the continued support of a disabled non-minor child, that obligation may be little to nothing depending on the income of the parties and the size of their 401(k), the resources already provided by the government, and the standard of living enjoyed by the child during the marriage. There is no formula that would calculate the amount of support as there is with child support. The judge will likely have to review both parties financial disclosure statements and decide on what support, if any, to award the adult disabled child.

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