Raising children is a difficult task. It isn’t time-dependent, and it certainly doesn’t stop at 18 years of age. Most child support orders remain in place until the child turns 18 years old or graduates high school, whichever comes later.
For parents of children with severe disabilities, that disclaimer may send panic through your heart. You know that your child will require special care all of his or her life, and you need a plan to provide that care. Fortunately, in Texas, that need is recognized.
On-going support for children with disabilities
Under the Texas Family Code, support for a child with disabilities can be ordered for an indefinite term. Suppose your child has a disability that does or will require special care or supervision, either due to physical or cognitive disability. In that case, child support may fall under this code.
Children with disabilities require extra care and supervision if they can’t provide those things for themselves. Parenting a child with a disability may also require that you:
- Find employment hours that line up with school hours.
- Take frequent time off for therapies or other services.
- Make regular visits to get specialized care.
- Pay for childcare their entire lives.
If your child has a lifelong disability, these extra tasks and monetary requirements may not stop when the child reaches 18.
Getting indefinite child support
Going through a divorce and facing the prospect of becoming a single parent is hard enough in typical circumstances. If you’re going through a divorce and are the parent of a child with a disability, make sure you fully understand your legal options.