Support for a Non-Minor Child with a Disability

In cases that are already pending or active in the Court system, a party can petition the Court for continuing support for a child with a disability (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.).  If the evidence shows, that the child, even after emancipation will need support the court may award sums of money out of the property and income of either or both parties or the estate of a deceased parent, as equity may require (750 ILCS 5/513.5).

In determining support un 513 the court is to consider all relevant circumstances including:

1.)    The present and future financial resources of the parents including their respective ability to save for retirement;

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

3.)    Resources of the child including any financial or other governmental or social service resources provided for the child; and

4.)    Any financial or other resource provided to or for the child including, but not limited to, any Supplemental Security Income, any house-based support provided pursuant to the Home-Based  Support Services Law for Mentally Disabled Adults, and any other State, federal, or local benefit available to the non-minor disabled child.

The court is to weigh parent ability to save for retirement when considering support for a disabled child but this may mean that parents who plan responsibility are at a greater risk for contribution than are parents who plan poorly.

The sums awarded may be paid to one of the parents, to a trust created by the parties for  the benefit of the non-minor child with a disability, or irrevocably to a special needs trust, established by the parties and for the sole benefit of the non-minor child with a disability.



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