As our Mobile, Alabama, readers know, one of the focuses of this blog is special education law. As the name implies, a child will ordinarily qualify for some sort of special education when he or she has unique physical, emotional, or intellectual needs that require a tailored plan in for the child to succeed in school.
Even with help from the school, having a special needs child is still expensive. In addition to some extra costs for education, there may be additional healthcare costs and other expenses that can quickly add up.
When the child's parents are living together, it can be a real struggle to get the money together to pay for these necessary expenses. This is even more so the case when parents are living apart and are each trying to maintain a separate household.
Fortunately, Alabama's Child Support Guidelines allow for courts to account for these extra expenses and apportion them fairly between the parents so that neither one of them bears the burden alone.
While the formula in these Guidelines does not account for a special needs child directly, the Guidelines do give a judge leeway to deviate from the formula so as to divvy up those extra educational, medical and therapeutic costs that often come with raising a special needs child.
Alabama parents love their special needs children and want what is best for them. However, getting the services the child truly needs costs money. It is only fair that both parents contribute to these expenses even when they live apart. A family law attorney can help a parent make sure that this is indeed the case.