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San Antonio Special Needs Attorney

Bexar County child support lawyer for children with special needs

When You Have A Child With Special Needs

Parents of children with special needs understand the unconditional love and indescribable joy these children can bring to a family. If you are the parent of a disabled child, you also know that the road ahead will not be easy for your child or other members of your family. You would do anything in your power to protect your child, but even determining where to start can be daunting and stressful. If you encounter family law issues related to your child, you will want to make sure you take the correct steps to protect your parental rights, receive the necessary financial support, and make provisions that will ensure that your child's needs will be met in the future.

At Brandon Wong & Associates, we have a great deal of experience standing up for parents of kids with special needs. Helping parents care for the health and well-being of their children with special needs is something we hold close to our hearts. We are committed to ensuring that parents can maintain strong relationships with their children. We understand the unique issues that may arise related to health care, education, and other matters when children have been diagnosed with conditions like a learning disability, autism, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy. We recognize that parents may disagree over what is best for their child, and our objective is always to look out for the child's best interests.

Creating a Plan to Address Your Child's Unique Needs

We know how to successfully navigate government and other administrative systems and put in place the legal protections your child needs. If you and your child's other parent have chosen to divorce, you may need to make special provisions to address unique factors related to your child's ongoing care, the financial resources available to them, and other matters related to child custody and child support. Under Texas law, child support obligations for children with disabilities run indefinitely. The obligation to provide financial assistance does not end when a child turns 18. When you work with us, we will use our resources and our extensive network to:

  • Help establish child support orders that may include additional financial support to address your child's extraordinary needs, such as ongoing medical care, physical or occupational therapy, or assistive devices.
  • Enforce child support orders when necessary, including collecting unpaid child support for the benefit of disabled minors and adults.
  • Specially craft child custody and visitation agreements that will address the unique needs of your child, including ensuring that both parents will follow the correct procedures for caring for a child's medical or mental health issues.
  • Assist with long-term care planning for a child who has a disability.
  • Establish a special needs trust that will allow for certain needs to be met for a child without interfering with government benefits such as Medicaid.
  • Find programs and classes that can help you deal with a new diagnosis and ensure that your family will be able to properly address your child's health concerns while also receiving emotional support.
  • Connect you with specific medical and educational professionals who can help your child while ensuring that financial support will be available to help you cover the costs of this treatment.

Children With Special Needs FAQs


What legal Services do You Offer for Children With Special Needs in San Antonio?

Answer: As family law professionals, the attorneys at Brandon Wong & Associates can offer comprehensive legal guidance and advocacy in cases involving children with special needs. Our lawyers are trained to provide knowledgeable guidance in areas such as guardianship, special education rights, and government benefits. Our attorneys can also collaborate with healthcare professionals, tailor legal solutions, and offer mediation services to ensure the child’s best interests are represented. Moreover, our attorneys can provide resource referrals and ongoing support to families navigating the complexities involved with caring for a child with disabilities.


How Can I Protect My Child With Special Needs During a Divorce in San Antonio?

Answer: During a divorce in San Antonio involving a child with disabilities, there are several measures parents can take to protect their child’s well-being. The first step must be to hire a family law attorney with experience in cases involving children with special needs. Your lawyer can help develop a comprehensive parenting plan that addresses your child’s unique needs, including healthcare, education, and support services. It is important for parents to collaborate to create a supportive co-parenting arrangement that will prioritize the child’s interests.


Are There Specific Child Support Considerations for Children With Special Needs in Texas?

Answer: Parents should be aware that the Texas Family Code guidelines may not always be followed in cases involving children with special needs. When a child has a disability, child support extensions may be granted to ensure that a child will be supported financially and otherwise past the age of 18 or after he or she graduates from high school. Parents may also need to consider whether their children will continue to need assistance after they pass away. If necessary, a special needs trust or other tools may be used to provide for the child’s needs in the years to come.


Can Child Support for a Special Needs Child Extend Beyond Age 18 in Texas?

Answer: Yes. In Texas, child support usually ends when a child turns 18 years old or graduates from high school. However, in cases involving children with disabilities, support may need to be continued into adulthood, particularly in cases where the child’s disability will require them to rely on financial or other forms of support from their parents for the rest of their life. Please be advised that the continuation of child support past your child’s 18th birthday will not be automatic, even if he or she does indeed have a disability. It will likely be necessary for you to provide documentation and proof of your child’s disability.


What Steps Should I Take to Establish a Special Needs Trust in San Antonio?

Answer: To begin with, you should consult with an estate planning attorney who has experience creating trusts for people with special needs. When you sit down with your estate planning lawyer, you can discuss your child's specific needs, financial situation, and long-term goals to determine the type of trust that best suits your family's circumstances. You may also want to obtain a comprehensive assessment of your child's needs and future requirements to make certain the trust is structured appropriately. As a parent, you will want to ensure that you can secure your personal and financial future while making sure whatever provisions you set up do not interfere with the child's ability to obtain government benefits.


How Do You Handle Disputes Over Care for Children With Special Needs?

Answer: It will depend on the cause of the dispute. In most situations, you should engage in constructive discussions with all parties involved, which may include healthcare providers, educators, and family members, to address concerns and find common ground. It may also be helpful to work with a mediator or seek guidance from other professionals who are knowledgeable about special needs care for children.


What Programs Are Available to Support Families of Children With Special Needs in San Antonio?

Answer: San Antonio is fortunate to be home to various programs and resources that help support families of children with special needs. These include the Any Baby Can organization, which offers family support services, parent education, and resources for children with special needs, and the Autism Community Network, which provides educational tools necessary to empower families and caregivers. Furthermore, the Respite Care of San Antonio provides childcare services for families caring for a child with special needs. The Arc of San Antonio has supported families with children with special needs through networks of support and services.


How Does Having a Child With Special Needs Affect Custody Agreements?

Answer: Courts will prioritize the child’s best interests by assessing each parent’s ability to meet the child’s specific requirements, including medical care, therapy, education, and emotional support. Parents of special needs children may also need to provide information about the child’s condition, treatment plans for the child, and daily care routines. Stability and routine are important for all children, especially those with special needs. The court will keep this in mind when handling custody agreements.


How Do You Enforce Child Support Orders for Special Needs Children in San Antonio?

Answer: You will first need to make sure there is a child support order already in place and signed by a judge. This order most often results from divorce proceedings. An informal agreement regarding child support payments without a proper court order will likely not be able to be enforced. Next, you will need to gather evidence documenting non-payments and communications about payments. This could involve your ex-spouse stating via text messages that he or she is unwilling to accept the support order. Then, it will be time to file a Petition to Enforce Child Support. This must be drafted correctly to ensure you can pursue the relief you request from the court. When you file this petition, you will also need to include the evidence you have obtained showing your ex-spouse’s failure to pay. You will then take the step of serving the other party with the petition. And finally, there will be a final hearing where you and your lawyer will have the chance to prove the child support was not paid to you. Remember that while these steps may appear complicated, hiring an attorney can make the process smoother and ensure that you will be able to collect the payments owed.


Can Parents of Special Needs Children in San Antonio Receive Additional Financial Support?

Answer: Parents of children with special needs may be eligible for financial support through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. SSI provides monthly payments to help support families that are raising children with special needs. A child becomes eligible through his or her need for financial assistance as well as his or her level of disability. Families that are eligible for SSI benefits will then receive monthly payments to ensure the child’s needs are supported, even if a family does not initially have a low enough income to qualify but has children who are disabled or have high costs related to the care their children need. Families may also pursue financial assistance through a Home-and-Community-Based Services (HCBS) waiver program. Funding will depend on the child’s level of disability and how that disability affects the family. Disabled children who qualify for this waiver program may also be eligible for medical assistance or some other form of public insurance.

Contact Our San Antonio Family Law Attorneys for Families With Special Needs Children

Our goal is to help you ensure that you have the right legal tools in place to provide the emotional and financial support your child needs throughout their lifetime, while also making sure you will have access to professionals who can help you provide the proper care for your child. Please call our office at 210-201-3832 or send us your information if you would like to schedule an initial consultation and discuss the best ways to address legal issues related to a child with special needs.

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