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child support for special needs children

Child Support

Divorce with A Special Needs Child

When parents of a special needs child separate or divorce, child support can be a complex issue. The cost of caring for a child with special needs is often higher than for a child with no disabilities due to medical expenses, therapy, specialized equipment, and other related costs. In Michigan, child support is determined based on the Michigan Child Support Formula, but there are some additional considerations that are taken into account when calculating support for a special needs child.

Child Support Calculations for A Special needs Child

The Michigan Child Support Formula takes into account the income of both parents, the number of children involved, and other factors such as health care expenses and child care costs. However, when a child has special needs, additional expenses related to the child’s disability may be included in the child support order.

Can A Parent Be Required To Pay More in Child Support for A Child with Disability?

Michigan law allows for an upward deviation from the standard child support formula if a child has special needs.  Some of the factors that the court may consider:

  • The child’s special needs and the associated costs of care

  • The child’s medical or educational needs

  • The child’s need for specialized equipment or accommodations

  • The availability of public or private resources to meet the child’s special needs

  • The income and assets of the parties involved

  • Any other factor considered relevant by the court.

This means that if the cost of caring for a special needs child is significantly higher than the average cost of caring for a typically developing child, the court may order a higher child support payment.

Considerations when requesting higher than the standard child support amount

When you are considering requesting an upward deviation in child support, you should consider the cost of litigation.  Anytime a parent requests more than the ‘standard’ amount of child support, the chances of a settlement decrease and the cost of hearing to obtain a judge’s decision can be substantial.

It is important to note that child support orders can be modified if there is a substantial change in circumstances, such as a change in income or a change in the child’s needs. Therefore, if the needs of a special needs child change over time, it may be necessary to modify the child support order to ensure that the child’s needs are being met.

Divorce Settlement with Special Needs Child and Child Support

In summary, child support for a special needs child in Michigan can be more complex than for a typically developing child due to the additional expenses related to the child’s disability. However, Michigan law takes into account the unique needs of a special needs child when determining child support orders and allows for deviations from the standard formula if necessary. It is important for parents to work together to ensure that their child’s needs are being met and to seek legal advice if necessary to ensure that their child is receiving the appropriate level of support.

Contact our Experienced Michigan Child Support Lawyer

If you are faced with substantially higher expenses due to the specials needs of your child, contact Kraayeveld family law attorneys, our experienced child support attorneys at to schedule a no obligation consultation to consider your options regarding child support.