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Child support modifications and late developing illnesses

California family law courts consider many factors when determining child support payment amounts. Typically, courts will make their determinations based on the income of both parents, tax liabilities and the current child custody arrangement. In most cases, the parent who provides the primary residence for the child will receive some form of support from the other parent. Additionally, courts will often consider the special needs of any child when formulating the amount of that support.

Your child's requirement for support may change as he or she develops with age. A good example of this is childhood schizophrenia. Symptoms of schizophrenia often go unnoticed until children reach a certain age. Some of these symptoms include hallucinations and delusions. Sometimes, a child suffering from these symptoms will also articulate disorganized thought through his or her speech.

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons that childhood schizophrenia is hard to diagnose in teenagers is because many indicators of the disorder are also prevalent in unaffected teenagers. Things like withdrawing from friends and family, experiencing a drop of performance at school or having difficulty sleeping are all commonly associated with normal teenage behavior.

Diseases and mental illnesses that present themselves after a child support order has been determined can cause problems for parents. For example, the parent providing primary custody may require additional health insurance coverage for new treatments and child therapies. Alternatively, the non-custodial parent may decide to assume a greater role in their child's development and pursue increased custody rights.

It's important to know that California child support orders can be amended in some cases, regardless of whether you need more support or you desire more visitation and custody rights. Your California family law attorney can guide you through the child support modification process. Although no outcome can be guaranteed, it's likely that your child's late developing disease or illness will have a significant influence on the courts determination to modify a pre-existing child support order.

Source: The Mayo Clinic, "Childhood schizophrenia" accessed Mar. 19, 2015

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