An Attorney Who Has Walked In Your Shoes

Child support guidelines and special needs children

This blog has discussed how various aspects of the family law in Massachusetts apply when a Springfield parent is trying to parent a child with special medical, educational or other needs on his or her own. This post will discuss the way parents, with the help of their attorneys, can get a fair child support order that accounts for their child’s special needs.

There are two basic ways in which the Massachusetts Child Support Guidelines can help parents get additional child support for their special needs children, but all subject, of course, to the discretion of the family law judge hearing the case.

First, in the case of a special needs child, the guidelines allow a parent to request the other parent pay child support until the child in question is at least 23, even though Massachusetts child support orders typically end when a child turns 18.

A court has the authority to award a parent additional child support even if that amount is more than what the guidelines call for.

However, it is important for parents to remember that these exceptions to the guidelines are just that, exceptions, and not the rules that apply in most cases. It can therefore be difficult to convince a judge that a special needs child needs additional support, especially if the other parent is already paying a significant amount. This is why it might be a good idea for the parent of a special needs child to enlist the help of an experienced family law attorney in the Springfield area when seeking additional support.