When children with special needs mature into adulthood, their challenges don’t simply evaporate. The case of Davitian-Kostanian v. Kostanian provides a spotlight on this often overlooked aspect of family law and paints a picture of what many parents face when seeking continued support for their adult children with special needs.
The Heart of the Matter: Alex's Story
Picture this: after 25 years, a marriage comes to an end. Now, introduce a child, Alex, with autism, into this already emotionally charged scenario. The financial responsibilities towards Alex were straightforward while he was a minor. But what happens when such a child becomes an adult? Do the obligations cease? Should they?
Understanding the Initial Decision
When Noune, Alex’s mother, stood on the precipice of receiving her last alimony payment, she reached out to the district court, hoping to extend the support for her now-adult son. But she was met with a wall. The court’s perspective was clear-cut: Alex was an adult, and therefore, outside their jurisdiction for child support.
But What About Alex?
This is where the story takes a turn and becomes the beacon for countless parents navigating similar waters. Nevada’s NRS 125B.110 statute is meant to provide a safety net for adults like Alex. If a child has a handicap diagnosed before 18, parents can argue for continued support beyond the typical cut-off age. And this isn’t just about financial assistance—it’s about recognizing the prolonged challenges that families and individuals face when living with disabilities.
Why This Case Matters to Us All
This isn’t just about Noune and Alex. It’s about recognizing that children with special needs, even when they grow up, may continue to require support. As a society, we need to ask: Are our laws adequately addressing the needs of our most vulnerable adults?
A Lesson in Compassion and Responsibility
While the district court initially missed the mark by not delving deeper into the specifics of Alex’s needs, the case serves as a wake-up call. Parents need a clear avenue to provide for their children, regardless of age, if the need is genuine and pressing. For many families, this isn’t just a legal battle—it’s a fight for dignity, care, and recognition.
The Davitian-Kostanian v. Kostanian case offers more than just a legal lesson. It’s a narrative that underscores the importance of continuously advocating for those who might not have a voice in the eyes of the law. For families with special needs adults, it’s a testament that their challenges are seen, heard, and deserve acknowledgment. The law should be a tool for protection and understanding, ensuring that every individual, irrespective of age or disability, has the support they need.
Frequently Asked Questions
What was the initial court decision regarding child support for Alex?
When Alex’s mother, Noune, sought to extend child support for her now-adult son with autism, the district court initially denied her request. The court’s perspective was that Alex was now an adult, so he was outside their jurisdiction for ordering child support.
What legal avenue did Noune have to try to obtain continued support for Alex?
Noune cited Nevada’s NRS 125B.110 statute, which provides that if a child has a handicap diagnosed before age 18, parents can argue for continued child support beyond the typical cut-off age of adulthood. This statute recognizes the prolonged challenges faced by disabled individuals.
Why does this case matter beyond just this one family?
This case matters because it highlights the needs of adult children with disabilities and their families. The case prompts an examination of whether societal laws adequately address the needs of vulnerable adults. It’s about ensuring support systems exist for those with lifelong challenges.
What lesson does this case provide?
The case serves as a lesson in compassion and ongoing parental responsibility. It underscores that clear legal avenues must exist to care for disabled children, regardless of age, when the need is legitimate. It’s about dignity and recognition of unique needs.
How does this case highlight advocacy for people with disabilities?
Initially denying Noune’s request, the court overlooked Alex’s needs. The case shows that continuous advocacy is crucial for those who may not have an equal voice in the legal system. It proves that challenges faced by people with disabilities and their families deserve acknowledgment and protection.
What message does the final ruling send?
The final ruling conveys that the law should provide protection and understanding for all individuals, including disabled adults. It states that necessary support should be offered irrespective of age or disability. It affirms a duty to ensure vulnerable populations have access to support.
NRS 125B.110: Nevada statute allows parents to petition for continued child support for a disabled child over 18 if the disability was diagnosed before age 18.
District court: The court initially denied Noune’s request to extend child support for her adult son, Alex.
Autism: Alex’s diagnosis that Noune used to petition for extended child support under NRS 125B.110. A developmental disability that affects communication and behavior.
Child support: Financial support paid by a parent to help with child-raising costs. Typically, it ends when the child turns 18.
Adult disability: Alex’s autism continued into adulthood, prompting the need for extended support.
Compassion: Caring, sympathy, and concern for the suffering of others. The case highlights the need for compassion for disabled adults.
Parental responsibility: Ongoing duty of parents to care for children, even adult children with disabilities like Alex.
Advocacy: Publicly supporting or recommending a cause. The case emphasizes advocating for the needs of disabled individuals.
Vulnerable populations: Groups at higher risk for poor health or other social outcomes. People with disabilities are considered a vulnerable population.
Dignity: Worthiness of honor and respect. A driving force behind the case was the dignity of disabled adults.
More Resources for You
Readers, if you found this article helpful, remember to also check out these other useful resources on family law in Nevada:
- Do You Really Need A Lawyer For Your Family Court Case?
- Pitfalls of Family Court Mediation
- Uncontested Divorce: A Detailed Guide To Help You Get A Fast, Cheap Las Vegas Divorce Now
- Family Court Trial
- Family Law Legal Relief Program
- The Ultimate Guide to Filing a Motion in Your Family Court Case
- Hire an Unbundled Nevada Attorney for Your Family Law Case!
- What Happens in Family Court in Nevada?
- Las Vegas Family Law Attorneys
- Family Law Attorneys That Accept Payment Plans in Las Vegas
- Family Law Consultation Fee
- Family Law Tips
These articles contain more great information to help you navigate the family court system in Nevada. Check them out for additional guidance and advice!
A Special Message from the Author, Our Lead Attorney
Molly Rosenblum, Esq
Thank you for reading through this resource on the intricacies and importance of the Davitian-Kostanian v. Kostanian case. I hope you gained insight into families’ challenges when seeking continued support for adult children with special needs.
At The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm, we have many years of experience successfully handling complex family law cases like this one.
We understand the emotional and financial stakes of securing your child’s future wellbeing and dignified care.
If you face a similar situation, please know you don’t have to go through it alone.
Our team of compassionate attorneys is here to guide you. We will fight tirelessly to help you obtain the assistance your family deserves.
Please call us at (702) 433-2889 to learn how we can help.
While we do not offer free consultations, we provide reasonable rates and flexible payment plans.
Thank you again for your interest.
Together, we can work towards positive change for families navigating the challenges of caring for adult children with special needs.