Male voice 1 The Evans Family Law Group providing a full spectrum of family law services. Male voice 2 Children with special needs present a unique scenario for the court. Oftentimes the main issue is what is a special needs kiddo or does a kiddo have special needs. Under the family law statute that the law says that if a child suffers from some disability or medical condition or mental health condition that renders that child substantially unable to care for themselves or to maintain independence basically work and maintain themselves. That.
Child can meet the definition of disability under the Family Code. It’s important to know that that definition is not the same for, say, Social Security or Medicaid or something or disability under federal law. There are different definitions although the one for federal disability probably meets the one for Family Code, but not vice versa. What’s unique about that is that the courts obviously have to first look to how to allocate the expenses involved that there are special therapy needs or treatment or medical needs, expenses, travel costs since oftentimes a child is traveling back and forth.
Between specialists. You’ve got to allocate those costs. You’ve got to allocate the possession schedule. If a child is bedridden, for example, you’ve got to figure out are the homes suitable, are they equipped to be able to handle a child like that, is the child able to even go between homes and what will that do the child taking into account their particular disability or special needs. I’ve seen parents fight, for example, over A.D.H.D. and whether a child has special needs because a child has been diagnosed as A.D.H.D. That probably doesn’t meet the definition.
Family Law Attorney Austin Special Needs Children Evans Law Group
But it’s a child by child and casespecific analysis by the court. What’s often required is to get obviously the medical records, get the child’s education history. If there are 504 evaluations through the schools and get ARD reports and ARD meeting notes and councilors and occupational therapists. Obviously talk to their mental health providers, talk to their medical providers and things of that nature in order to put the evidence in front of the court whether the child meets that particular definition of disability. The reason it’s important is because not only in allocating possession and access schedules.
And taking that into account and then allocating the costs associated with that, but if the child meets that definition under our laws, the court can order child support indefinitely meaning, yes, for the child’s life provided that the child’s disability was known before the child’s 18th birthday. It doesn’t have to be established after the 18th birthday. In other words, you can take your case to the courts after the child’s 18th birthday, but the particular disability has to be known and you have to be able to meet that burden.
Approved that it was known prior to the child’s 18th birthday. If you can meet that burden, then the court can order child support indefinitely or the code gives the court some flexibility to order child support around a specific duration. It may be, for example, the child’s treating medical providers think that maybe a year down the road maybe he’ll phase out or adjust or whatnot. So the court can extend the child support past the 18th birthday up to the 19th birthday or for 12 months, for example, and.
Order what’s known as a status review or review hearing in order to see where we are. Have things improved Have they gotten worse Are they the same The courts can then address the situation as far as support at that time. The court can extend it six months, come back in another review a year, or at that point, just make it indefinitely. Male voice 1 When life’s path takes an unplanned turn, call the Evans Family Law Group for a consultation at 6282550. The Evans Family Law Group providing a full spectrum of family.