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Issues to consider with special needs children, Part 1

Divorce is painful for everyone, parents, children, and even friends. But it is especially difficult for children with special needs. Arranging care and parenting time is already a complicated balance between schedules, work, and lingering emotional attachments, add into that a child that has trouble understanding the situation, and the ground is fertile for constant disputes. This post will go over the unique issues faced by divorcing parents with special needs children.

Special needs children need ongoing care, into adulthood, that both parents must recognize and plan for in their divorce. Often emotional entanglements can cloud the greater issue which is what is best for their child. Admittedly, working through these issues is difficult, but a lawyer can help both parties stay focused on the issues at hand.




Parents must engage in careful negotiations and lay out detailed parenting time and caring plans. Children with special needs require far more financial assistance and attention. Divorced parents, who are already dealing with their stresses, must also accommodate their child and continue to provide them with the care and attention they need.

Unfortunately, many courts do not understand the unique issues that confront special needs children. Courts often apply the same rules on joint custody and split parenting time for healthy children for special needs children. Special needs children need more flexible plans to take into account their difficulties adapting to new environments, to ensuring that they feel safe, and to a host of other issues that acutely impact special needs children.

Are you engaged in a dispute over child custody issues? If you are, you should contact a lawyer at your earliest convenience. As illustrated above, child custody disputes are already high-stakes emotional engagements. But when you mix in a special needs child, the stakes are raised even higher. As you can see, many parents often have trouble coming to grips with the accommodations that their child needs to grow and thrive. A lawyer can help the court and opposing counsel understand the needs of your child, to ensure that smart and effective decisions are made based on what is best for the child, not what makes either parent feel the most comfortable.

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