Child Support Obligations for Adult Disabled Children

Child Support in General

Promoting and protecting the safety and welfare of children is an important governmental interest for many states, including Texas. The best interests of a minor child of separated parents is the central issue that courts are concerned with at child custody proceedings. Additionally, a noncustodial parent’s obligation to pay child support to the noncustodial parent derives from certain legal duties that arise from the parent-child relationship.

Ordinarily, a parent’s obligation to pay child support is not indefinite. A parent’s duty to provide necessary financial support to their child typically ends when the child reaches the age of 18. This is because a child is deemed to have matured enough by that age to have developed independent judgment and the ability to financially support themselves. However, in some cases, a parent’s responsibility for financial supporting their child may extend beyond the age of 18. This is particularly true for adult disabled children.

Extending Child Support for Adult Disabled Children

Under Texas Family Code § 154.001, a parent’s duty to financially support their child may extend past their 18th birthday if the child has a physical or mental disability that prevents them from becoming financially self-supporting. According to Texas Family Code § 154.302, a child who requires significant attention and personal oversight due to their disability is considered to be incapable of supporting themselves, thus necessitating the need for extending their parents’ child support duties.

Significantly, the Texas General Assembly has amended several provisions of the Texas Family Code, including § 154.302. These amendments are set to go into effect on September 1, 2019. Under the amended § 154.302, a court may order both parents of a special needs child to make child support payments to a special needs trust established for the child’s benefit.

By using a trust to secure financial support for a child, the right to receive child support does not necessarily lie with any particular parent. A trust helps ensure that a child has a source of financial support, as long as their parents pay into the trust.

By amending § 154.302 to grant courts the power to designate a special needs trust for the support of a disabled child, the Texas legislature has reaffirmed the government’s concern and interest in ensuring the wellbeing of both children and adults with disabilities.

Contact Us at Camille Borg Law PLLC

If you are involved in a legal dispute involving the custody or support of a minor child, you should consult Attorney Camille R. Borg of Camille Borg Law PLLC. Camille Borg has a unique insight into the practice of family law as a former social worker. She is dedicated to finding effective and reasonable resolutions to family law dispute and dedicated to protecting and preserving the safety and welfare of minor children with separated parents.

Get started by calling (469) 646-7763 to arrange an appointment about your case with Camille Borg Law PLLC.