How Can Parents Petition Extended Child Support for Their Special Needs Children?
Raising a special needs child is an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be financially challenging. The cost of medical care, therapy, and other specialized services can add up quickly. If you are a parent of a special needs child, you may wonder how you can afford to provide for their needs.
In New York, parents of special needs children can petition for child support until the child is 26 years old. The new law was passed to help parents of special needs children who may need additional financial support.
Learn how to petition for extended child support to ensure your child receives the care they deserve.
To be eligible for extended child support, the child must meet the following criteria:
- Have a developmental disability: The child must have a diagnosed developmental disability that impairs their ability to earn a living wage.
- Be living with the parent seeking support: The child should reside with the parent petitioning for child support.
- Be unable to earn a living wage due to their disability: The child’s disability should significantly limit their ability to generate income.
How to Petition for Extended Child Support?
To petition for extended child support, it is advisable to consult with an attorney to ensure all necessary information is included. The following steps outline the general process of petitioning for extended child support for special needs children in New York:
- Consultation with an Attorney: It is advisable to seek legal counsel to understand the laws and regulations applicable to your case and guide you through the petitioning process.
- Gathering Documentation: Parents should gather all relevant documentation, including medical records inclusive of a diagnosis, therapy evaluations, and educational assessments, to support the child’s special needs claim. This documentation will serve as evidence to substantiate the need for extended child support.
- Filing the Petition: The petition must be filed with the Family Court in the county where the child primarily resides. It should contain detailed information about the child’s condition, medical requirements, and the need for extended child support.
- Court Proceedings: A court hearing will be scheduled once the petition is filed. During the hearing, both parents can present their arguments, provide evidence, and testify.
What to Expect at the Hearing
During the hearing, both parents will have an opportunity to present their case and provide testimony. The court will consider several factors when making a decision, including:
- The child’s needs: The court will assess the child’s specific needs and the financial implications of meeting those needs.
- The parents’ incomes and expenses: The court will review the financial circumstances of both parents to determine their ability to provide support along with any increased costs the custodian incurs on behalf of the child and whether the financial responsibility of the child has been unreasonably placed on one parent.
- The child’s living arrangements: The child’s living situation, including the custodial parent’s ability to meet their daily needs, will be considered.
Based on the evidence presented, the court will decide whether to grant the petition and, if so, how much child support to award.
Consult With a Compassionate Lawyer
If you are a parent of a special needs child, you should not hesitate to seek child support from the other parent. Child support can make a big difference in your child’s life. The Law Offices of Ian S. Mednick, P.C. can help you understand the eligibility requirements and file the necessary paperwork.
By seeking extended child support, you can ensure your special needs child receives the financial support they require to thrive, even if they are above the age of 21.
Connect with us today to schedule a free consultation