Post-divorce care and support of special needs children

Even while sorting out the challenges of their ending marital relationships, divorcing Stamford parents prioritize the care and comfort of their children. That is because divorce is hard on everyone in a family, and not just the two people who are parties to the process. It can be traumatic for children to see their parents split up and to lose the normality that they once depended on.

While divorce is difficult for all kids, it can be especially challenging for children with special needs. The term “special needs” can refer to a spectrum of physical, mental, and emotional conditions that can impact the way a child lives in and processes the world around them. A physical disability may limit where a child can live or what vehicles they can ride in, while a child with an emotional disorder may not be able to cope with the serious changes occurring in their homes. Just as every child is different, every situation involving a divorce and a special needs child must be addressed based on its own facts and requirements.

Therefore, for parents of special needs children, protecting their kids’ best interests can be significantly more involved than the process is for other parents. In Connecticut, child custody plans are based upon the best interests of the children, and special needs children may have diverse requirements that involve extensive considerations about a child’s education, access to medical and other therapies, and additional supportive care.

When establishing a child custody plan for a special needs child, a court and the involved parties may have to carefully assess if one parent is better suited to providing ongoing care to their child, or if having the child move from home-to-home will be too disruptive. Parents may have to engage in serious discussions about each one’s ability to take their child to regular appointments or to respond to urgent situations that may arise due to their child’s condition.

Just as parents of special needs children may have to engage in different types of discussions about the future custody of their kids, they may also have to engage in different negotiations over the financial support each will provide to support their children. A special needs child may require extraordinary expenses to ensure their health and well-being, and those costs must be addressed fully and clearly in any support plans that the parents develop. The failure of parents to work through the details of their child’s needs and requirements may result in lapses of services or treatments.

Divorces are challenging for families of all types. Those that involve special needs children can be very difficult due to the sensitive and specific requirements that each child must have in order for their best interests to be met. Getting help with a divorce is an important part of ensuring that an individual and their children’s futures are protected from potential legal and financial mistakes. This post does not provide legal advice and only offers information.