Providing for Your Special Needs Child During Divorce

For parents with a child who has special needs, divorce poses additional challenges.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates one in 68 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A common, potentially disabling medical condition, ASD affects children of all socioeconomic backgrounds.

For a divorcing couple with a child diagnosed with ASD or other challenge, the realities of divorce can be challenging in many ways:

  • In a contentious divorce, arrangements for the medical care and upbringing of a special needs child are often problematic. Healthcare and other professionals can offer suggestions and guidance.
  • With a special needs child, one parent could be the dominant caregiver, a history that requires consideration when discussing custody and visitation.
  • Oftentimes common parenting schedules are not well-suited to children with special needs or disabilities. Frequent disruption of schedule and the loss of a familiar living space could further destabilize a child with special needs.
  • In addition to unique parenting schedules, the court has the ability to order appropriate child support to ensure the social, educational, emotional and physical needs of a special needs child are addressed.

In Connecticut, the court may order post-majority child support to provide extra years of financial help. Effective parenting of a special needs child during and after divorce is essential. When you need skilled legal advice about moving you and your special needs child into a stable future, speak with a knowledgeable and experienced attorney in Fairfield County.

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