Georgia Divorce Child Support for Special Needs Children
Child support guidelines allow for specific deviations for a number of reasons, but none more pressing than special or extraordinary needs of the minor child. Statistics show divorce rates for families raising a child with special needs are significantly higher than divorce rates for other families, particularly in the early years of the child’s life.
Child Support Expenses
Specific child support deviations go beyond just plugging the parties’ incomes into a formula and allowing parents an opportunity to show the court on a “case-by-case basis” the actual amount of the expense to be considered in the calculation of the child support portion of any order. These expenses are prorated between the parents primarily based on their ability to pay. § 19-6-15(i)(2)(J). Extraordinary educational expenses may include, but are not limited to: tuition, room and board, lab fees, books, and any reasonable or necessary expenses associated with the special needs education or, in some instances, the private school needs of the minor child where such expenses are appropriate to the parent’s financial abilities.
Special Needs Children Medical Expenses
The child support guidelines also account for specific deviations related to extraordinary medical expenses – the law’s stated intent is to make sure no such deviation will leave a child unsupported. Having said that, the court understands that there are finite resources and often times the financial burdens are exactly what has led to the breakup of the marriage. It is a balancing act that the courts are charged with to meet the needs of the child as resources will allow.
These expenses must be documented and demonstrated. We never take this for granted, whether representing a party who is asked to pay for costs that are not actually being incurred, or whether we are advocating for a mother or father trying to account for the real needs of the child. We are familiar with the realities and the often life-changing expenses presented by a child or children with extraordinary needs. You can trust Joseph to make sure your child’s needs are accounted for to the fullest extent of the law both now and in the years to come. Please fill in an online case appointment form to get started today.