Child Support and Children with Special Needs

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One issue often overlooked by divorce attorneys as well as their clients is the payment of child support when the couple has a child with special needs. Child support, although paid directly to a spouse, is considered to be an asset of the child for purposes of determining eligibility for means-tested governmental programs. To avoid disqualifying the child from governmental benefits, the divorce agreement should direct child support payments to be made directly to a first party special needs trust, instead of directly to the custodial spouse. The child with special needs will be the sole beneficiary of the trust and the custodial parent will be the trustee. In this way, the child support will be used for the child without disqualifying the child from benefits he or she may receive.

As the law continues to evolve on these matters, please note that this article is current as of date and time of publication and may not reflect subsequent developments. The content and interpretation of the issues addressed herein is subject to change. Cole Schotz P.C. disclaims any and all liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this publication to the fullest extent permitted by law. This is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. Do not act or refrain from acting upon the information contained in this publication without obtaining legal, financial and tax advice. For further information, please do not hesitate to reach out to your firm contact or to any of the attorneys listed in this publication.

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