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Child support for a special needs child

Parents who have a special needs child in Illinois may be surprised to discover that child custody laws do not address the unique and particular requirements of a special needs child. Fortunately, though, a single parent caring for a special needs child may still qualify to receive child support payments that reflect the higher costs of caring for such a child.

Costs associated with rearing children with special needs can include a variety of expensive medications, therapies, school tuition, dietary requirements, in-home nursing care and much more. In order to win a child support order from a court that takes these extra costs into account, a parent may need to request a special modification to the child support guidelines. In such cases, the child support recipient will be required to document the costs in order to back up his or her request for special support.

It is rare that a divorcing parent will readily agree to pay more in child support than is the usual required under the law. Therefore, it may not be possible to reach an out-of-court agreement in a special needs child support matter. Fortunately, though, courts will usually recognize and include the extra costs associated with a special needs child in their child support calculations -- especially if the receiving parent can show that a particular cost is predictable and reoccurring.

At the Goddard & Malmquist Attorneys & Counselors at Law, we know that receiving child support that accurately reflects the costs associated with raising a special needs child is vital to the child's best interests. Although these cases do tend to be more complicated to pursue, we also know that Illinois law is flexible enough to provide for parents in this situation.

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