Child Support and Your Child with Special Needs
Child support in the State of Texas is generally calculated according to state guidelines that are fairly standard. Both parents are legally responsible for supporting their children financially throughout their childhoods. Child support is the state’s means of ensuring that this responsibility is shouldered fairly (relative to each parent’s ability to pay) between both parents. The judge, however, has considerable discretion in determining child support, and certain factors – including a child’s special needs – are very likely to require special consideration.
Child Support Calculations
Typically, the parent who has a visitation schedule pays child support that is calculated in accordance with the state’s guidelines to the parent who provides the children with their primary residence. These payments are generally entirely predictable and rarely deviate far from the state’s calculation process. If one of the children involved, however, has special needs that compel the court, it is likely to take a broader approach to child support and to award an amount that better addresses the child’s unique needs.
Do My Child’s Special Needs Qualify?
For the state to address your child’s special needs, they must amount to either a mental health concern or a medical condition that precludes him or her from contributing significantly to his or her own care or from being able to move forward into living an independent life as an adult. Whether or not your child’s special needs will affect your child support is dependent upon your child’s unique health concerns, but working closely with an experienced family law attorney will help ensure that you receive the child support to which your child is entitled and needs to reach his or her fullest potential.
Documenting Your Child’s Special Needs
In determining whether your child has special needs that require more expansive child support, the court will require and carefully consider all of the following documentation:
Your child’s physical and mental health records
Your child’s school records
Reports from your child’s school counselor, caregiver, speech therapist, occupational therapist, or any other specialized teacher or therapist who works with your child
Because the court is always guided by the best interests of the child, it will carefully weigh your child’s special needs in its determination of child support in your case.
Discuss Your Child Support Concerns with a Dedicated Killeen Family Law Attorney
Child support is designed to ensure that both parents contribute financially to raising their shared children – based on a general calculation process that applies nearly across the board. However, the court will take a child’s compelling special needs into careful consideration and will often exercise its considerable discretion in requiring expanded child support payments in such situations. If you have child support concerns about your child with special needs, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – has the experience, legal insight, and compassion to help. Obtaining child support that allows your child to lead their fullest life is critical, and we are here to help. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today.