S.B. No. 497
SUPPORT FOR ADULT DISABLED CHILD
Governor Bush signed SB 497 on June 20, 1997. SB 497 becomes effective September 1, 1997.
Subchapter F of Chapter 154 of the Family Code provides a means for either or both parents to be ordered to make support payments for the benefit of a disabled child, even if the child is an adult. Prior to the passage of SB 497, only a parent had the right to sue for court-ordered support of a disabled child. SB 497 gives these additional persons the standing to sue for support of a child:
SB 497 also amends Section 154.302 of the Family Code to provide:
|A court that orders support shall designate a parent of the child or another person having physical custody or guardianship of the child under a court order to receive the support for the child. The court may designate a child who is 18 years of age or older to receive the support directly.
SB 497 could be a big help for disabled children seeking parental support, since they no longer must rely on a parent to sue for support.
It is problematic, however, for the child's standing to sue to be dependent upon a court determination of no mental disability and capability of financial management. The child must overcome this initial threshold just to be able to seek support. If the court determines that the child has no standing, then only a parent, guardian or "person having physical custody" of the disabled child will be able to sue.