Child Support for Children with Special Needs

In certain percentage of  cases involving child support or custody, there will be a child with special physical or educational needs.

In Kentucky law, this can result in significant additional payments for uncovered medical/educational expenses, not to mention additional child support departing from the guidelines due to the extra responsibilities involved in the child's care.

The law on this (found in KRS 403.211) is explicit:

At the time of initial establishment of a child support order, whether temporary or permanent, or in any proceeding to modify a support order, the child support guidelines in KRS 403.212 shall serve as a rebuttable presumption for the establishment or modification of the amount of child support. Courts may deviate from the guidelines where their application would be unjust or inappropriate. Any deviation shall be accompanied by a written finding or specific finding on the record by the court, specifying the reason for the deviation.

(3) A written finding or specific finding on the record that the application of the guidelines would be unjust or inappropriate in a particular case shall be sufficient to rebut the presumption and allow for an appropriate adjustment ofthe guideline award if based upon one (1) or more of the following criteria:

(a) A child's extraordinary medical or dental needs;

(b) A child's extraordinary educational, job training, or special needs;

(c) Either parent's own extraordinary needs, such as medical expenses;

(d) The independent financial resources, if any, of the child or children;

(e) Combined monthly adjusted parental gross income in excess of the Kentucky child support guidelines;

(f) The parents of the child, having demonstrated knowledge of the amount of child support established by the Kentucky child support guidelines,have agreed to child support different from the guideline amount.  However, no such agreement shall be the basis of any deviation if public assistance is being paid on behalf of a child under the provisions of PartD of Title IV of the Federal Social Security Act; and

(g) Any similar factor of an extraordinary nature specifically identified by the court which would make application of the guidelines inappropriate.

(4) "Extraordinary" as used in this section shall be determined by the court 

 Furthermore, support for a disabled child can be ordered into adulthood regardless of age.

Each case involving a child with a disability is unique, and a strict guideline calculation may not be the best means for deciding how support should be allocated.  Some are eligible for public assistance regardless of the income of parents, thus reducing the financial burden, some assistance can include in-home care.  It is wise to seek the assistance of a competent family lawyer to guide you through this process before reaching an agreement.

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