Transformation of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act: Support for Non-Minor Children with a Disability - DuPage County Divorce Attorney | Bloomingdale Family Law Lawyers
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Transformation of the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act: Support for Non-Minor Children with a Disability

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b2ap3_thumbnail_disabled-child.jpgThroughout the United States, it is required across the board that all parents have an obligation and duty to care for their children while the children are under the parents’ care. Part of that obligation and duty extends to all parents, not just the custodial ones, where regardless of the relationship that the noncustodial parent has with the child, there is a requirement that the child’s welfare be paid for. Child support was one way to ensure that regardless of the involvement of parents, children (in theory) would have the basic necessities to thrive, even if there is only one parent around.

No Parental Obligation throughout All 50 States to Support Adult Children with a Disability

Unfortunately, it is not a requirement in all 50 states that support be maintained for non-minor children who have a disability. The purpose of child support was to support children who are unable to support themselves. Until children are 18, they are considered minors and the law dictates choices are made for them by their guardians. However, with children with disabilities, depending on the severity of the disability, just because he/she becomes an adult, does not mean that he/she would be able to support him/herself without additional care.

The IMDMA’s Approach to Support for Children with Disabilities

Illinois has decided to remedy this situation through the amendments to the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (IMDMA). According to the IMDMA, it is up to the discretion of the court to award some of the property and income of either or both parents (or their estate) to pay support for a child who is mentally or physically disabled. The request for support for the child may be made either before or after the child has turned 18.

A child is considered to have a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that limits substantially a major life function, if there is a record that the individual has this type of impairment, or if he/she is perceived by others of having this type of impairment.

When deciding the scope of the support, the courts will review the following factors to determine what is appropriate, reasonable, and necessary for the child:

  • The financial resources (current and future earnings) to satisfy each party’s needs, which could also include retirement savings;
  • The financial resources and earning potential of the child (if he or she would be able to contribute);
  • Other financial resources that are being contributed to the welfare and well-being of the child, which can include any type of Social Security income, any state, federal, or local benefit, or home-based support from the Home-Based Support Services Law for Mentally Disabled Adults; and
  • What the standard of living of the child would be if the marriage had never been dissolved.

This amendment will have a profound effect on disabled men and women who would otherwise might not be able to support themselves and receive the care that they need.

Experienced Family Law Attorneys in DuPage County

With the amendments made to the IMDMA, many may not know how these changes may affect their marriage and divorce. Requiring parties to pay for non-minor children with disabilities may create considerable disagreements and as such, it is important to speak with the experienced family law attorneys at Mevorah Law Offices LLC. Contact our experienced DuPage County family law attorneys today for a free and confidential consultation.

Sources:

http://americanbar.org/content/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine_home/gp_solo_magazine_index/parentsdivorce.html

http://ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/99/099-0090.htm

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