Child support—children with special needs
Child support—children with special needs

The following Family guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Child support—children with special needs
  • Applicable law
  • Procedure

The court retains jurisdiction to make orders for maintenance where there is a disability living allowance paid to a child or where a child is disabled. A child is regarded as disabled if the child is 'blind, deaf or dumb or is substantially and permanently handicapped by illness, injury, mental disorder or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be prescribed'. This will be a question of fact in each individual case.

Applicable law

An application may be made for maintenance for a disabled adult child, as well as those who are still minors. In C v F the Court of Appeal held that a periodical payments order could extend beyond a child's 18th birthday where there were special circumstances such as a severe disability. The court may make an order to meet all the expenses attributed to that disability. Further, the court is not restricted to topping up an existing Child Maintenance Service