Child support and your child’s mental health

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Florida law generally requires both parents to support their children until they turn 18 or until they graduate from high school or turn 19. However, when a child has a mental disability that inhibits their ability to support themselves as adults, support may last longer. The condition of the child will determine the duration of the support. For example, if the child suffers from a serious mental illness which prevents him from working or living independently, the assistance may be for an indefinite period. Similarly, the amount of assistance will depend on the needs of the child.

Alimony during divorce
While standard child support is meant to cover routine medical expenses, it is not designed to cover specialist treatment. If your child is in ongoing therapy, takes expensive medications, or needs recurring hospitalizations, out-of-pocket expenses can be significant. You will want to be sure to accurately represent the expenses associated with the current and anticipated care of your child so that the calculated amount of child support is sufficient for any extraordinary needs.

Agreement between the Parties
As with most divorce terms, the parties can agree on the amount and duration of child support provided the court considers the agreement to be in the best interests of the child. Divorcing parents should take the time to sit down and have an honest discussion about their child’s future needs. In many cases, parents are also concerned about their child’s future and will be able to decide on child support terms that will support their well-being and long-term care needs.

If you or someone you love are considering a divorce or separation, it is extremely important to have an experienced family law attorney. Draper Law Office has been helping with family law matters since 1984. Call 407.846.0075.

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