Can I get Child Support for my Special Needs Child after she is an Adult?

Families with a special needs child are under tremendous pressure every day and as sad as it is, this often leads to divorce.  Hopefully, you and your spouse will be able to work together to make the best arrangements for your special needs child as possible.  Doctor visits, therapies and medication can get very expensive, especially if the main caregiver has to stay home and care for the child.

When you divorce, make sure to discuss your special needs child with your attorney.  Some states will allow child support to continue passed the age of maturity, but unless you request it (and have the doctor reports to prove your claim) the judge will not know about your needs.


Instead of child support, you may request that your ex pay for all or part of your child’s medical expenses.  Since the care of children is always an important one to courts, this should be an acceptable option for you.  As you gather your information before you begin your divorce, make sure you have all of the medical records you may need for your child.

Most children with special needs are eligible for social security benefits and Medicaid when they reach adulthood.  If your child is unable to care for finances, you can petition to be their legal guardian and therefore, you can fill out all of the necessary paperwork and have access to the money.  In most cases, you will have to show proof every year of where you spent your child’s money so be sure to keep careful records.

Before you fight with your spouse about child support after your child is an adult, be sure to see if your child will be eligible for social security disability payments, and if he/she is how the child support money might affect that benefit.  Some parents refuse to apply for Social Security as a matter of pride, but your child will need care for the rest of his/her life.  You need to help get the benefits that will be so desperately needed.

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