Divorcing With A Special Needs Child

Divorcing With A Special Needs Child

Making sure that the emotional and financial needs of any child are met during a divorce should be the complete focus of any parent. When that child has special needs, the divorce will need to take care to minimize the disruption in that child's life and make sure that every legal decree is considering the best possible good for the child.

Giving Your Special Needs Child Extra Consideration

For parents of a special needs child, it may not be possible to use standard custody and visitation decrees. The court process may be longer as the medical, emotional, psychological and occupational needs of the child can put additional strain on a one-parent household. Child custody and visitation will examine which parent is a better medical caregiver on top of their other responsibilities, and determine which family member may be best equipped to make this commitment to the child.

Being clear with a divorce attorney about the child's condition and what their needs are can help make the divorce process easier. A lawyer will be able to negotiate the terms of the divorce for the best interests of the special needs child. It also may be worthwhile to invite the input of doctors, psychologists, and other medical professionals to help shed more light on the situation.

Custody of the child will largely affect the child support arrangement and the division of marital property. Child support payments may be larger to compensate for the care the child needs, and may even continue well past a child turns 18 or is out of secondary school. Marital property may be divided in such a way that the parent with primary custody of the child keeps the family home since it is equipped specifically for the special needs child.

A final divorce order may include provisions to revisit child custody as the child gets older, details on specialized medical care, and other parental trainings on the child's care. A divorce attorney will be able to work with the parents to draft an agreement that is to the benefit of all involved.