Generally, a child support obligation ends around the time a child becomes an adult. However, under Virginia law, there are certain situations in which such an obligation can remain in place during a child's adulthood. One of these is if the child is severely disabled.
Under state law, Virginia courts are allowed to continue to order child support in relation to a disabled child after the child has become an adult if all of the following three circumstances exist:
- The child's disability (whether it be physical or mental) is permanent and severe.
- The child lacks the ability to support himself/herself and live independently.
- The child lives with the parent who is receiving/requesting child support.
Thus, whether or not a child has a disability is one of the things that can have an impact on child support duration. This is one of the many special considerations that can arise when it comes to child support for children with disabilities. These special considerations arise from the fact that there are many special medical, care and financial needs a child may have when they are disabled.
When it comes to child support arrangements regarding children with disabilities, a very important goal is to reach an arrangement that best ensures that the children's special needs are met. Experienced family law attorneys can help parents of children with disabilities who are in child support proceedings address the various special concerns their situation may raise and work to reach arrangements well-suited for the specific circumstances of their family situation.