I need advice concerning child support for an incapacitated adult. The child is 18 but still attends high school. Will

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Customer: Hello. I need advice concerning child support for an incapacitated adult.
JA: How old is the child? What state do they live in?
Customer: The child is 18 but still attends high school. Will be receiving Social Security disability and his mother and her husband will be his legal guardians. We both live in Texas but got divorced in Oklahoma.
JA: Is there an agreement for payment of child support?
Customer: It is court ordered child support.
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: Is ther Sorry. Is there a possibility I will be paying child support indefinitely?
Answered by Michael Bradley in 6 mins 2 months ago
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Michael Bradley
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Michael Bradley, Expert

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer, my name is ***** ***** I am a retired attorney with 25 years of experience. Thank you for using JustAnswer.com. Please note that our discussions on this site are for general information purposes and do not create an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice.

I cannot represent you in Court, or prepare legal documents for you. I can review documents if necessary and they can be attached using the paper clip icon. It is always recommended that you consult with a local attorney for specific legal information for your situation before you act (or refrain from acting).

I know your question is important to you and I will be giving it the time and attention it deserves. My ultimate goal is to make sure you get all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

I am normally responding to multiple questions at the same time so please be patient. Rest assured that I am already working on your question, please give me a few minutes to type you a reply.

If any part of your answer is confusing or you do not understand, please let me know and I will explain my answer better. I am committed to making sure that you are satisfied with my answer and JustAnswer on a whole.

*************************

Good afternoon and welcome to the website. My name is ***** ***** I will be the expert assisting you today. You are correct and that child support may not end at the date of emancipation or the graduation of high school if that child is considered incapacitated and unable to take care of themselves. Since the child is receiving Social Security disability benefits, you can also argue that you should be given a credit for that amount as well.

It is a possibility but it is not a guarantee.


Customer
Hello Michael,
Is this decided by the court?
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Michael Bradley, Expert

Yes, that is correct. In the very rare situation such as this one, there is no guarantee that child support has an end date due to the child’s condition.  It would be up to the court to determine whether the child is incapacitated to such an extent that child support should continue.

Customer
What’s the criteria to determine to what extent?
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Michael Bradley, Expert

The current child support order is out of Texas?

Customer
Oklahoma.
Customer
Oklahoma
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Michael Bradley, Expert

The statute

Sec. 154.302. COURT-ORDERED SUPPORT FOR DISABLED CHILD. (a) The court may order either or both parents to provide for the support of a child for an indefinite period and may determine the rights and duties of the parents if the court finds that:

(1) the child, whether institutionalized or not, requires substantial care and personal supervision because of a mental or physical disability and will not be capable of self-support; and

(2) the disability exists, or the cause of the disability is known to exist, on or before the 18th birthday of the child.

(b) A court that orders support under this section shall designate a parent of the child or another person having physical custody or guardianship of the child under a court order to receive the support for the child. The court may designate a child who is 18 years of age or older to receive the support directly.

(c) Notwithstanding Subsection (b), a court that orders support under this section for an adult child with a disability may designate a special needs trust and provide that the support may be paid directly to the trust for the benefit of the adult child. The court shall order that support payable to a special needs trust under this subsection be paid directly to the trust and may not order the support be paid to the state disbursement unit.

Customer
Understood. Would it be the current amount or an adjustment? Does SS disability play a factor? So he can receive both SSD and child support? If his mom is his legal guardian does she not oversee the trust?
Customer
It doesn't appear that anything is favorable or beneficial to the noncustodial parent that being me. If she decided to file for guardianship why am I required to pay child support possibly indefinitely?
Customer
By filing for guardianship willingly and knowing his condition she accepts full responsibility.
Customer
there is no action to be taken at this time until he graduates or turns whichever comes first? Also if he continues on with some form of additional adult education?
Customer
Hello Michael
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Michael Bradley, Expert

It would be the current amount for the most part but you can argue that the social security disability that they receive is a factor as well. It would be the one that oversees the trust to ensure that the payment goes into the trust. The theory behind child support Being in definite is that if the person is not capable of taking care of their own affairs, someone needs to and they would be allowed to receive support. It would depend on what is going on with the child and where the child ends up staying. Yes, it is either 18 or graduate high school, what happens last.

Customer
I meant to say 19.
So it is not up to the guardian whether or not the support continues. Very unlikely they would decide not to receive it especially if it is designated as a trust rather than child support. Is it solely the court's decision even if the guardian decides not to receive support? (very unlikely)
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Michael Bradley, Expert

That is correct, it is not up to the guardian. It would be up to the court to decide. A lot would depend on whether the child has the potential to become emancipated and also whether or not they truly need the child support as well. If they are already on Social Security and do not need the money, the court does not have to nor are they required to continue it.

Customer
the court will take into consideration the SS and the overall household income? Or just the mom?
Customer
The overall income meaning his mom and step dad. They both are his legal guardians.
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Michael Bradley, Expert

The court does not normally look at step parents income but if he is the legal guardian of the child you can make that argument as well. Again, this is a different case since the child is special-needs.

Customer
Michael you have been extremely helpful and patient in answering my questions and concerns. Thank you so much. How much longer do I have your services for?
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Michael Bradley, Expert

You can come back if you wish to ask follow up questions. As long as it is on the same subject you can come to this question. If it is on a different subject then you are to open up a new question and if you wish you could ask for me.

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Michael Bradley, Expert

Good luck to you! You can come back here free of charge for any follow-up questions on this subject.

Please let me know if there’s anything else I can help you with. That includes looking for lawyers. I’m happy to do so! I’m here most of the time so you can always come back and talk to me (no extra charge). If I’m not here, I will get an email if you leave me a question.

Kindly accept my answer. I have given you the benefit of my legal knowledge and 25 years of experience as well as my time. My statistics show that almost 100% of my customers here have been extremely satisfied with my answers as I am always truthful and thorough.

If for some reason you do not fully understand my answer, please let me know. I am committed to make sure that you are happy and satisfied with my service.

We are not employees of Just Answer but are independent contractors.

Thank you! I'd rather be given the chance to add more information than be rated negatively, so I thank you for that.

If you want to ask for me specifically another time -- for a new question -- ask for "Michael Bradley ONLY" or @Michael Bradley and I will get the question. Also, if you can list me as one of your favorite experts it would be appreciated. Otherwise you can come right back into this room for follow-ups, free of charge.

Best of luck to you and thank you for letting me help you today!

Customer
Hello Mr. Bradley,
Hope you're doing well. I need assistance in finding a lawyer who has experience in dealing with this type of situation involving a special needs child. Thank you!
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Michael Bradley, Expert

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer, my name is ***** ***** I am a retired attorney with 25 years of experience. Thank you for using JustAnswer.com. Please note that our discussions on this site are for general information purposes and do not create an attorney-client relationship or constitute legal advice.

I cannot represent you in Court, or prepare legal documents for you. I can review documents if necessary and they can be attached using the paper clip icon. It is always recommended that you consult with a local attorney for specific legal information for your situation before you act (or refrain from acting).

I know your question is important to you and I will be giving it the time and attention it deserves. My ultimate goal is to make sure you get all of the information you need to make an informed decision.

I am normally responding to multiple questions at the same time so please be patient. Rest assured that I am already working on your question, please give me a few minutes to type you a reply.

If any part of your answer is confusing or you do not understand, please let me know and I will explain my answer better. I am committed to making sure that you are satisfied with my answer and JustAnswer on a whole.

*************************

Hello and welcome to the website. Thank you for thinking of me. I did not see this question until now. I understand that the child is 18 but still attend high school. Normally it runs until 18 or graduate high school whatever happens last. Who are they receiving Social Security disability benefits for? For their own disability or a parents disability?

Customer
Hello. The child is now receiving his own benefits because he is deemed an incapacitated adult by the court. He is 18 but still in high school. According to Oklahoma it’s 19 or graduate high school which ever comes first.
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Michael Bradley, Expert

I’m sorry, that is correct, once he graduates high school or hits 19, he certainly may not be able to take care of himself which is really the idea behind in emancipation. As such, in theory, if your your ex wanted to try to continue support, the fact that the child receives their own SSD would lead me to believe that the court would not order anything or a credit would be issued dollar for dollar for what the child receives.

Customer
What do you mean when you say the court would not order anything?
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Michael Bradley, Expert

The court would give you a dollar for dollar credit for what the child receives from SS.
Customer
Is that for certain? Regardless of the dollar for dollar credit. Would I still be required to pay child support indefinitely? At what point or under what circumstance would the child support order be rescinded? Is that even probable?
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Michael Bradley, Expert

Potentially, that could certainly be the case although other things would have to be in place as well. It would have to be shown that they were in capable of taking care of themselves and they would also still have to rely on your ex to do those things for them. They would also have to continue to reside with your ex and your ex would have to show that they are taking care of everything for your child. In my opinion, the order would be rescinded if it is shown that the child can take care of themselves on their own or lives somewhere else.
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