My eldest child is turning 18, he cannot support himself as he has autism. Is there a legal provision that provides for such instances in Arizona?
I divorced my husband two years back and have been receiving weekly child support of $250 for both our kids who are in my custody. We are residents of Arizona. My eldest child is turning 18 and per the law in Arizona, I am aware that child support seizes once the child turns 18 years old. My child has autism and cannot support himself. Is there a legal provision that provides for such instances in Arizona?12/12/2016 | Category: Divorce » Child Support | State: Arizona | #27944
D. The supreme court shall establish guidelines for determining the amount of child support. The amount resulting from the application of these guidelines is the amount of child support ordered unless a written finding is made, based on criteria approved by the supreme court, that application of the guidelines would be inappropriate or unjust in a particular case. The supreme court shall review the guidelines at least once every four years to ensure that their application results in the determination of appropriate child support amounts. The supreme court shall base the guidelines and criteria for deviation from them on all relevant factors, considered together and weighed in conjunction with each other, including:
1. The financial resources and needs of the child.
2. The financial resources and needs of the custodial parent.
3. The standard of living the child would have enjoyed if the child lived in an intact home with both parents to the extent it is economically feasible considering the resources of each parent and each parent's need to maintain a home and to provide support for the child when the child is with that parent.
4. The physical and emotional condition of the child, and the child's educational needs.
5. The financial resources and needs of the noncustodial parent.
6. The medical support plan for the child. The plan should include the child's medical support needs, the availability of medical insurance or services provided by the Arizona health care cost containment system and whether a cash medical support order is necessary.
7. Excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.
8. The duration of parenting time and related expenses.
Normally, the child support in Arizona seizes when the child attains the age of 18. However, there certain exceptions to this rule where the courts might order child support even after the age of 18. They are provided for in subsection E of A.R.S. § 25-320. It reads:
E. Even if a child is over the age of majority when a petition is filed or at the time of the final decree, the court may order support to continue past the age of majority if all of the following are true:
1. The court has considered the factors prescribed in subsection D of this section.
2. The child has severe mental or physical disabilities as demonstrated by the fact that the child is unable to live independently and be self-supporting.
3. The child's disability began before the child reached the age of majority.
In the case at hand, the child suffers from autism and is “unable to live independently and be self-supporting.” Therefore, the mother may approach the court per subsection E of the A.R.S. § 25-320 to extend the child support beyond the age of 18 years.