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How does Ohio address the issue of child support for an adult child with disabilities?

Understanding Child Support for Adult Children with Disabilities in Ohio

In the state of Ohio, child support is typically a responsibility that ends when a child reaches the age of majority, which is 18 years old, or graduates from high school. The objective of child support is to ensure that non-custodial parents contribute to the financial needs of their children. However, when it comes to adult children with disabilities, the situation requires a nuanced approach. Ohio law recognizes that adult children with disabilities may still need support beyond the conventional age thresholds.

Ohio Revised Code and Adult Child Support

The Ohio Revised Code (ORC) provides guidelines for the support of adult children with disabilities. Under Section 3119.86 of the ORC, courts have the authority to order both parents to continue supporting an adult child who is physically or mentally disabled and incapable of supporting themselves. This is contingent upon the disability existing before the child reached the age of majority.

How Courts Determine Continued Support

When determining whether to order support for an adult child with disabilities, Ohio courts will consider several factors:

This assessment is case-specific, and courts have broad discretion in deciding whether to award support. The goal is to balance the needs of the disabled adult child with the parents' ability to pay.

Applying for Continued Support

Parents or guardians seeking continued support for an adult child with disabilities must file a motion in court. They need to provide evidence demonstrating that the child's condition prevents them from being self-sufficient. Medical records, expert testimony, and financial statements are often necessary to substantiate the claim.

Historical References and Legal Precedents

Historically, Ohio courts have been sympathetic to adult children with disabilities. Case law has upheld the rights of these individuals to receive support when their conditions unequivocally limit their ability to earn a living. For example, in Prowant v. Prowant, a case from 1994, the court recognized an adult daughter's need for ongoing support due to her severe mental disability.

The Role of Social Security and Other Benefits

It's important to note that if an adult child with disabilities receives Social Security benefits or other governmental assistance, these amounts may be considered when calculating parental support obligations. Parents should be aware that child support payments could impact their child's eligibility for certain benefits.


In conclusion, Ohio law extends an empathetic hand towards those who cannot fend for themselves due to disability by allowing for continued support past the age of majority. Parents and guardians must navigate a complex legal landscape and provide substantial evidence to secure this support. As every situation is unique, seeking legal counsel is advisable for those pursuing such claims.