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What Should I Know About Child Support for Special Needs Children in NJ?

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When you have a child with special needs, there are many considerations you’ll need to make regarding their care daily. However, when you and your spouse divorce or you separate from your child’s other parent, understanding what you should know about child support for special needs children is critical. The following blog explores these matters in further detail. You’ll also discover why it’s imperative to connect with a Somerset County child support attorney to explore your legal options to ensure your children receive the best aid possible.

What Are Special Needs?

Generally, when a child has certain disabilities, they may need more specialized care to ensure they get the support they need to stay healthy and succeed. These generally refer to physical, emotional, or behavioral difficulties.

As such, those with different needs can require the following:

  • Specialized therapy
  • Special medical equipment
  • Additional medical care
  • Medication and prescriptions
  • School programs and Individualized Education Plans (IEPs)

Generally, a child who needs additional assistance or attention due to a cognitive, behavioral, or physical disability is considered special needs.

What Considerations Should Those With Special Needs Children Make Regarding Child Support?

It’s necessary to understand the factors that will be considered when determining how much the non-custodial parent must pay to support children with special needs. Generally, the courts will consider the standard elements, like the income of each parent, their earning capacity, and how much time they are in custody of the child. However, when a child has special needs, they will consider the additional expenses, like the cost of medical care, school, daycare, and any other expenses associated with raising a child with unique needs.

In New Jersey, children with special needs will often receive child support up until their 23rd birthday. Generally, support obligations end upon a child’s 19th birthday, but generally, these agreements can extend to cover post-secondary education like college. For children with special needs, however, you may find that one parent can file a motion for financial maintenance. This can help the custodial parent continue to provide adequate support for the child. If approved, these payments would likely be the same as the previous child support amount. However, if additional evidence is presented, the parent may get more.

It’s also important to understand that there may be government assistance programs available for you to enroll in to assist. However, because these programs may interfere with child support, it’s best to consult an experienced attorney to explore your options and ensure your child has the best future possible.

When your child’s future is on the line, the Siragusa Law Firm is ready to assist. We understand how important it is for you to provide the best care possible for your child, which is why we are proud to represent you. Connect with us today to learn more about this process.

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