Divorce is always more difficult for couples with children. That difficulty is compounded when the child has special needs. There are more issues to consider when thinking of their child and there’s a delicate balance involved that other divorcing couples might not face. It is that much more important to handle the logistics of the separation and eventual divorce by giving a lot of thought to the needs of the child who is dear to both parents.
Divorce When There is a Special Needs Child
The issues that come up are often more intense and different from other divorce cases. Some specific issues that arise include:
- The type of school the child needs and its location. Where the child goes to school and what is the proximity of that school to the homes the parents will live in after the divorce are important things to consider. The answers of course depend on the type of disability the child has and what types of services are necessary or that are available.
- The special needs of the child. Unfortunately, there is typically more contention and stress when the divorcing couple has a special needs child. One parent may believe the child needs more intensive services than the other parent is willing to acknowledge or is not sensitive to.
- Child support. Child support may be impacted depending on how much the child’s needs are covered by health insurance or community support. There may be a need for a specific kind of a teacher which is not covered. Out-of-pocket expenses for medications, vitamins, or other supplements could be a consideration. These expenses will not be figured in the basic child support calculation and must be discussed by the parents until there is an agreement between them.
The best way to resolve these issues is through Mediation or Collaboration. Litigation, leaving the issues for a court to decide, is often damaging to the parents and will make it more difficult for you to co-parent after the divorce ends.
Contact Kim Mediation and Law Center for Assistance
Our goal is to help you achieve a peaceful divorce. We understand the extra guidance you may need when you have a special needs child. You may both agree the child needs special attention but disagree on what that attention entails. With expert guidance, we are confident we can assist you in coming to an agreement that is in the best interest of your child.