When is it too much to fight for continued child support beyond 18?

Lisa - posted on 10/05/2011 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I received a letter of child support termination due to my son being emancipated upon graduation on June 1st of this year. I appealed that letter and took it higher to the master level hearing. I won the court case in front of the Master Judge arguing that my son has Aspergers and I was able to prove that he was not able to obtain “gainful employment”. I had his high school and also his doctors office backing me but only half of the information was used. My sons absent parent who only cared about not paying any more child support appealed my appeal and it went in front of the Judge. I got my letter today, the child support is DENIED and has been terminated. My domestic relations office told me that I was not permitted at the appeal hearing. If I wish to appeal the appeals appeal (so wrong) I will be on my own financially and I have to take this to the Superior Court level. Is this worth the fight? How hard should I advocate?

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Lisa - posted on 10/07/2011

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Laura, at the time I was shot down in 2005 for SSI, I was receiving 137 per week in child support (60% of daycare expense was in this figure) and I only earned 12.75 per hour. They said I was over the guideline for SSI. It goes off of the parent income when they are under 18. They told me to come back when he was 18. After I fought for the college money to be released, I thought it was in my sons best interest to open a checking account so I may teach him how to write checks. I deposited his money for college directly into the checking account. I had no knowledge of how the system worked with the 2,000 and above figure. So by helping him I hurt him.

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Laura - posted on 10/18/2011

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Julia -
As my son is still young it is hard to tell how high functioning he is yet. He has severe cognitive delays as well which have not risen as well as I would hope. I actually had his ssi appointment today. I don't know really how it went, it was confusing. The woman said once we get the rest of my fiance's pay stubs to her his case will go to the into the approval process. My fiancee works really hard but we still can't seem to make the bills. Assistance is a constant issue.

My son needs constant supervison. I am glad he has not figured out my chain lock on my door yet as if he did he could and would go outside and get hit by a car. He has no sense of danger, right or wrong, and he can't do many many things that he should be able to. In some ways his 12mth old sister is more mature then he is.

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My son has Aspergers and lives a good life. He is a qualified electrician and giving him a trade to follow really helped him. I never treated him differently to the others and always expected the same from him, his best. Girlfriend relationships are a constant problem and as he is very good looking it is a worry. He lives with a flat mate and does very well for himself, he has never been able to use his Aspergers as an excuse. We do not receive any government assistance in our country for anything so we had to make do. Maybe this was to his advantage as he has had to learn to function in a "normal" way. Your son will do well in life if you believe he will. :)

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I feel for you! My daughter is high functioning and we have came a long ways over the years... I always worry when at what moment will she regress and if it will cause her to not be able to care for herself! There are days I see stuff happen with her and we think she just needs to live with us when she is grown. Other times I think she is smart she "should" be able to figure things out to be able to live on her own, or if she chose to get married - whole other ballgame! I would want to be near enough she would have my help. Both of my kids are pretty independent even if both are slow to mature. My husband and I just try to keep our sanity and encourage them to go forward, love and scoot them along when the regress. It has been a full time job for me raising two high needs kids that are now teens with opinions of their own. We tell them, we are here for you but you have to take the steps to go forward, we will encourage you as you do. We will tell them when we disagree and leave it up to them to figure it out. Scary!!! How functioning is your children Lisa and Laura? I have wondered if there was a need would SSI cover it / apparently strict... My hubby makes to much for SSID for Jess I believe. I worry that she will go to college make good grades as usual and get into a high paying, high stress job and have a breakdown, like a friend of mine who my hubby and I are most definitely sure she has Aspergers. Very scary!!! I am here for you both. My email is Julia_walling@live.com is you want to talk more privately.

Lisa - posted on 10/07/2011

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Through thousands of appointments which included but were not limited to, Nephrology specialist, Gastroenterologist specialist, Cardiology specialist, Neurologist specialists, Child Psychiatrist specialists, and IEP meetings as a single mom taking off of my full time job to juggle these appointments, his father sat happily at his work without interruption.
The decision was over turned by the judge after I was awarded continued child support in the Master Level on the grounds that, “He got good grades in high school” (I think in a learning support environment with teachers willing to go the extra mile to assist it was a win-win situation).

Laura - posted on 10/07/2011

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Lisa-
I hope they don't sleep at night! I really do think your situation is awful. Now I am a bit nervous as I just applied for SSI for my son. I hope they don't look at his dad's paycheck stubs and laugh at me. I really need this help for him...make too much for state assistance, and not enough to pay the bills. I stay at home with my son because i don't trust anyone with him. What to do what to do?

Lisa - posted on 10/07/2011

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I was unaware that a “judge” could overturn a ruling by the “Master Judge”. When I sat at the Maters Hearing, my son’s father attorney (which is his personal friend) was sitting in the hallway and said, “don’t worry about a thing, I won a case just the other day and that KID wasn’t even mainstreamed”. I hope that attorney can sleep at night.

Lisa - posted on 10/07/2011

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Laura, you are not out of line by any means! Back in 2005 when I applied for SSI for my son he was denied. They told me that because I worked, I had made too much money. I applied again in 2011. Just prior to me applying I had fought for inheritance money that my father had left him for college. This was in a locked account since 2000 and put in a low interest savings account since he was 7 years old. SSI took one look at the money reserved for “college tuition” ONLY and denied the claim for SSI saying he had to have less than 2,000 in an account in his name. They told me that they put me on a spend down of 5 years. After that 5 year period, if I can prove receipts showing that it was all gone he will qualify. Nice huh?

Laura - posted on 10/07/2011

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It is my opinion that the support should continue. However in light of the decision (I am by no means saying don't fight!) if your son is not expected to be able to gain meaningful empolyment, use the information you a have obtained to apply for ssi or ssd for your son. This is a childhoold ailment that is not expected to go away! I would look into it just as a means to support your son. If I am out of line I do apologize. But you need help to support him!

Lisa - posted on 10/06/2011

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Some day he might be able to be employed in the future. My goal and the transition goal of his high school led us to a community college. He is slow to mature. His father's argument is that he should just work a factory job in a quite environment. I do not even believe he can handle this.

Katherine - posted on 10/06/2011

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I would do it. I say it's totally worth the fight. Your son will never be able to be gainfully employed (or maybe he will) I don't know. Right now though you have to think of him and yourself. You need that money and I would fight for every ounce it's worth. Showing that you're willing to go to the next level is showing you are ready to put up a fight. A judge is going to take that into consideration.

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