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Divorce considerations when you have a child with disabilities

On Behalf of | Apr 23, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce is a complex process under any circumstances, but it becomes even more intricate when a child with disabilities is involved. The emotional toll can be immense, and additional legal and financial considerations to the mix makes for an overwhelming combination.

If you’re considering divorce as a parent to a differently abled child, it can help to identify the key issues you should address to help ensure their well-being in order to get started.

Financial planning and child support

The financial needs of a disabled child often extend far beyond the needs of the majority. Therefore, child support calculations must account for these long-term expenses, which may include therapies, medications, specialized equipment and future residential care.

Custody and guardianship

Determining custody arrangements requires careful consideration of the child’s specific needs and each parent’s ability to provide care. Joint custody with a detailed schedule for medical appointments, therapies and other essential routines is often favored. However, some situations may necessitate sole custody for the parent who has been the primary caregiver.

It’s important to address long-term guardianship as well. If the child lacks the capacity to make their own decisions in the future, a legal guardian may need to be appointed. Parents can work together to designate a guardian in their divorce agreement, avoiding future court battles.

Communication and cooperation

Divorce can be a contentious process, but effective communication and cooperation are paramount when co-parenting a disabled child. Maintaining a civil relationship with your ex-spouse is essential to help ensure your child receives consistent care and avoids the additional stress of conflict.

Divorce with a disabled child presents unique challenges, but with careful planning and a commitment to prioritizing your child’s well-being, you can navigate this difficult process with greater confidence. Consulting with a reliable legal team and prioritizing open communication with your co-parent can help ensure a secure and supportive environment for your child moving forward.