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Is Child Support Different for Special Needs Children in New Jersey?

Going through a divorce is a complex emotional time for all parties involved. However, when you are the primary caregiver for children with special needs, this can be even more overwhelming. Unfortunately, many parents are unsure of their rights during a divorce. As such, connecting with New Jersey child support attorneys is necessary to ensure you and your family receive the financial support needed to help care for your children. Keep reading to learn more about child support for those with special needs.

What Constitutes Special Needs?

Individuals are considered to have special needs if they need additional assistance due to a cognitive, behavioral, or physical disability. Autism, bipolar disorder, and cerebral palsy are all respective examples of conditions that would classify a child as having special needs.

Those with special needs require additional assistance to help them succeed. These support tools include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Medical care
  • Therapy (physical or psychological)
  • Navigational aides (walking sticks, wheelchairs)
  • Medical equipment
  • Specialized schooling

How Is Child Support Different for Special Needs Children?

Because the cost of raising a special needs child can be higher than raising a child without additional needs, you may worry that because of the increased costs, the support you receive from your partner will not be enough. However, this is not true. The support will be ordered based on several factors, such as your respective income and, in the case of a child with special needs, the cost of their care.

It’s also important to understand that, in New Jersey, child support for special needs children can extend past their 19th birthday, which is when traditional child support ends. However, as the custodial parent, you can petition for an extension until the child’s 23rd birthday.

You should also understand that while child support will officially end upon the individual’s 23rd birthday, you can seek financial maintenance to help continue to support the child past that date.

If I’m Getting a Divorce, Should I Connect With a Lawyer?

When you and your spouse decide a divorce is in your best interest, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Unfortunately, you may find that trying to navigate this complex legal matter on your own can be too overwhelming, leaving you unsure of how to proceed and with the potential for an unfavorable outcome.

As such, the team at Haber Silver Russoniello & Dunn can help you through these complex times. Whether you’re filing for divorce or petitioning the courts for financial maintenance for your unique needs child, our firm can fight for you. Connect with us today to learn how we can help guide you through this process.

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