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Child Support and your Special Needs Child

Child Support and your Special Needs Child

Most parents are legally bound to support their children financially until they reach the age of majority. In Ohio, this obligation extends until your children reach the age of 18 or until they complete high school up to the age of 19. However, parental support can end earlier if a child marries, joins the military or lives independently.

Where a child is physically or mentally disabled, an exception to these rules applies if the child is not expected to be self-sufficient by the age of 18. Support can continue well beyond this age for Ohio residents in this situation, though child support for post-minority young adults must be specified in a court order due to their handicap. It is best to consult an experienced family lawyer for advice in relation to your child’s support needs. 

Determining child support in Ohio

Ohio state laws require courts to calculate the amount of child support to be ordered, or any modifications to an existing order, in line with current guidelines developed by the Ohio Supreme Court. These guidelines take into account the income of both parents and the number of children covered by the child support order. The court uses specific worksheets that calculate child support using a formula resulting in the proper amount to be paid. However, in certain cases, including those involving special needs children, the judge is allowed to deviate from this calculation.

Parents can file a motion to modify child support where there has been a material change in the circumstances of the child or the parent that was not previously contemplated. Where the judge determines that there has been such a change, a new support order will be calculated. A material change includes a change in the child’s needs, which could include residential needs, treatments or therapy not covered by insurance. 

If you have a special needs child and need guidance in relation to child support or want to file for a modification of your child support order, contact an experienced Dayton child support attorney at Fox and Associates Co., LPA.



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