New Jersey Info

New Jersey Divorce Start Your Divorce Find Professionals New Jersey Articles Divorce Facts Divorce Grounds Residency Divorce Laws Legal Separation Property Division Alimony Child Custody Child Support Divorce Forms Process Service Grandparent Rights Forum New Jersey Products Divorce by County

New Jersey Articles

Agreements Attorney Relationship Custody & Visitation Child Support Collaborative Law Counseling Divorce/General Domestic Abuse Domestic Partnership Financial Planning Foreign Divorce Mediation Parenting Property Division Spousal Support SEE ALL

Info Categories

Contemplating Divorce Children & Divorce Divorce, Dollars & Debt Divorce Laws Divorce Process Divorce Negotiation SEE ALL

More Information

Articles Checklists Research Center Cases of Interest Dictionary Encyclopedia Encyclopedia (pop-up) Blogs

For Professionals

Advertise With Us Free Network Page Join Our Network Submit Articles Sign In

Network Sites

New Jersey Divorce Support New Jersey Divorce Online

Extra Child Support for a Special Needs Child
Is a special needs child legally entitled to receive extra child support?

The child support guidelines simply don't satisfy the needs of a special needs child. The child support guidelines don't take into account the many extraordinary expenses that a special needs child always requires. These extra costs include specialized therapy, equipment, medications, special dietary costs, special schooling, tuition, etc. If the child support guidelines are routinely applied then the child support award would certainly not even remotely cover the actual needs of a special needs child.

Given the above reality, if a divorcing couple has a special needs child, then there needs to be a deviation from the child support guidelines. New Jersey Court Rule 5:5A provides that upon good cause, the application of the Child Support Guidelines may be modified or disregarded. It is important to emphasize that paragraph 9(d) of Appendix IX-A to the Court Rules specifically acknowledges that the guidelines fail to take into account the additional expenses that are incurred by a family that has a special needs or a disabled child(ren). Therefore, in this type of scenario, an above the amount guideline calculation should be ordered by the court.

How should the extra costs needed to raise a special needs child be incorporated into the child support guidelines?

When people get divorced, everyone cries poverty. Therefore, it is no easy task to try to convince the payor spouse to deviate from the guidelines. However, if a special needs child has predictable and recurring expenses then most courts will require that these items should be added to the child support award. The most typical examples of predictable and recurring expenses for a special needs child are special diets and special educational costs. These expenses are a consistent part of the family's lives. Therefore, most courts will approve that these expenses should be added to the child support award.

Are the rules any different to emancipate a special needs child?

The rules for the emancipation of a special needs child is certainly different. It is black letter law that a child emancipates once he reaches the age of majority, graduates from high school, or graduates from college. However, these rules are not applied to a child who is a special needs child. It is important to emphasize that emancipation is considered to be an event in the law, and it is not simply a date certain. The key concern is that emancipation occurs when a child moves beyond the sphere of influence and responsibility exercised by a parent and achieves an independent status on his or her own. See, Bishop v. Bishop, 287 Super, 593, 598 (Ch. Div. 1995).

In the real world, most special needs children may never move beyond their parent's "sphere of influence". Therefore, child support for a special needs child may continue for a very long time. A parent may be required to support a special needs child who even though he may have reached the age of majority. If the special needs child is incapable of maintaining himself due to their illness or disorder then most judges will not declare the child emancipated. In closing, in many cases a court will never declare a special needs child emancipated. Thus, child support could continue indefinitely for a special needs child.


Was this helpful? Like our site & let us know.

Related Articles


Start New Jersey Divorce Start Your New Jersey Online Divorce Today
Easy, Fast and Affordable with a 100% Guarantee.
New Jersey Divorce Find New Jersey Divorce Professionals in Your Area:
Join the Network
New Jersey Divorce Products, Services and Solutions New Jersey Divorce Products, Services and Solutions
New Jersey Divorce Resources to Help You Through the Process.
Divorce and Custody Books Discount Divorce Bookstore
Over 100 Titles of the Best Books on Divorce & Custody.
Divorce Downloads Divorce Download Center
Instantly Download, Books, Manuals, & Forms.
Divorce Worksheet Free New Jersey Divorce Worksheet & Separation Agreement
Your Guide to Get Organized and Put Everything in Writing.
   
To file for divorce in New Jersey under no-fault grounds, the couple must have been living separate and apart in different residences for at least 18 consecutive months. There must be no hope of reconciliation in the marriage.
Divorce Lawyers & Mediators
 

Find Professionals

Easily Connect With a Lawyer or Mediator
Have Divorce Professionals from Your Area Contact You!
Enter Your Zip Code:

 

Start Your Divorce File for a New Jersey Divorce

 

Settle Your Divorce Negotiate Your New Jersey Divorce

 

Support Forum New Jersey Support Forum


FEATURED TOOL - How to Stop Your Divorce (Even When You Think its Too Late)


Limited Offer Women's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"The Absolute Best Investment in Your Divorce"

Men's Rights Manual For Divorce
Cover Price: $55.95
Your Price: $29.95
You Save: $26.00

"Uncover Your Options and Unleash Solutions"