Taking Care of Special Needs Children in a Divorce

Divorces can be a grueling process for spouses and their children. When a divorce involves a special needs child, the experience can be even more difficult. Special needs children require special attention, financial support, and long-term care. Issues like child support and custody agreements can complicate the divorce.

With such high stakes, you must prepare for your divorce. A Gastonia or Shelby divorce attorney can advise you on achieving the best possible result for you and your child.

Custody Agreements

Establishing custody agreements can become immensely complex for divorces involving children with special needs. In these cases, the custody agreement will designate one parent as the custodial parent. The custodial parent will live with the child and be their primary caretaker.
It's important to come to an agreement that best meets the need of your child. The custodial parent may have a wide range of responsibilities. Both parties should be honest about who has the best ability to assist the child.

When creating the custody agreement, you also need to create a visitation schedule for the other parent. Even minor disruptions to a routine can be extremely challenging for a special need's child. A divorce lawyer can facilitate discussions between parties and create an agreement that serves the interests of your child.

Long-Term Planning

The divorce agreement should address concerns that extend into adulthood. Your child may need additional assistance when they are over the age of 18. Make sure the divorce agreement establishes a plan for transitioning into adulthood. You may need to include details on how to handle guardianship after they turn 18, sign up for government assistance, and more.

Child Support

Parents of special needs children frequently face extra childcare costs. You need to ensure that your divorce agreement leaves your child with the money they need for a comfortable life. Child support should take into account added expenses like medical bills, special equipment, physical therapy, and more.

Your attorney will work with a financial advisor to determine the needs of your child. They can help you create a special needs trust, determine eligibility for benefits, and handle other financial factors that may impact your child.

Parents of special needs children face unique challenges in handling divorce. An attorney can guide you every step of the way to create a brighter future for your child. 

The divorce attorneys at Caulder & Valentine have helped many parents navigate their divorce and achieve positive outcomes. Contact Caulder & Valentine at (704) 470-2440 to speak with an experienced attorney today.