Every parent hopes and prays their children will be born without mental or physical problems. Children with special needs take a toll on both parents. This toll sometimes is the cause of divorces. Studies have shown children with autism and the burdens placed on the parents by these children can be the cause of the parents’ divorce.
Divorce Agreements And Special Needs Children
Parties entering into a settlement agreement or a separation agreement in a divorce have to deal with all of the normal issues such as custody, visitation, child support, spousal maintenance and division of property. However, when there is a special needs child involved, additional consideration must be given to the additional costs and burdens of raising a special needs child.
Parenting Plans And Special Needs Children
When developing a parenting plan for a special needs child, the parents must tailor the plan to deal with unique circumstances the child faces. Special needs children require specialized care-taking skills. In some situations, special parenting programs will be necessary for a parent who has not been primarily involved in the dealing with the special needs child everyday problems.
Child support payments are usually determined by the standards maintained in the Child Support Standards Act. However the normal child support payments may not be sufficient to deal with the unique problems, expenses, additional therapy and additional special programs special needs children require. Special needs children may be so disabled they may never be self-supporting or be capable of living on their own. The increased burden the residential custodial parent has of maintaining the special needs child may have a negative impact on his or her ability to earn a living and become self-supporting.
In dealing with the drafting of settlement agreements and separation agreements, divorce attorneys must take into consideration the additional problems and parenting needs of a special needs child. Agreements must be specifically tailored to deal with the unique and special circumstances of these children.