Divorcing When You Have a Special Needs Child: Strategies for a Fair and Safe Outcome

The couples having children with special needs usually face much troubles and challenges as the child needs special attention and care for its well-being. But in case, if those couple is going through some troublesome disputes and they want to be separated or divorced then there are two possibilities i.e. sometimes parents suffer by compromising for their kid and sometimes the special kid suffers due to the parents’ divorce. There is greater need of exploring fair and safe outcomes that can benefit the parents and children both. Scroll down to explore some considerations if you are planning a divorce while having a child with special needs.

Divorcing When You Have a Special Needs Child: Strategies for a Fair and Safe Outcome

Plan the Custody Accordingly

The custody of the special child must be owned by the parent who can bear all the expenses of the special care of the child because according to the Va code §20-108.1, the custodial parent have to

  • Provide actual monetary support to the child, including all costs regarding the custody of the child.
  • Provision of all special needs child including the physical, emotional or medical requirements
  • Establishing a well-maintained living standard of the child

Considering these articles of the Va code, decide the custody of your child so that you may not have to face legal concerns from the authorities.

Settle Down for Visitations

Many couples schedule visitation of the non-custodial parent to the child every weekend and the parent take the kid with him/her at personal residence. But if you have a child with special needs, then you must consider the special arrangements and care which are only available at home of the child. Moreover, the special children are vulnerable to the external environment or disruptions in their routine of eating and medications can be harmful for them due to lack of their immunity. It is more suitable to allow the non-custodial parent to visit at the special child’s home rather than taking the child with him/her, as the care essentials are available and there may be less risk of exposing to the external environments.

Alimony Benefit

It is observed from the Child support negotiations and alimony charts that most of the custodial parent tend to extend the benefit eligibility from the alimony which they receive from the non-custodial parent, Medical aid or supplemental security income from the government for the benefit of the child with special needs. It is suggested that you should seek guidance from an attorney to determine you the better and suitable arrangements that implicit the benefit eligibility of the special child. According to Va code 20-124.2, the parent is liable for support payments to the minor children and to 18+ child if he/she is

  • A student of full time high school
  • Not self-supporting
  • Mentally or physically disabled
  • Unable to live independent

Try to Give Extra Care

Children with special needs require greater care for their up-bringing especially until the age of eighteen. Especially the impaired or disabled children requires extra care, cost, activities and medications when the parents are being separated. It is more suitable for you to decide collaboratively with your spouse to settle down on a mutually accepted arrangement of care that may contribute in caressing and nurturing the child with special needs.

Don’t Ignore after 18

Most of the Virginia laws ensures the care, monetary support and provisions for the child of a broken family till the age of 18. But a child with disability is unable to support on his own even after 18 years of age. So, don’t ignore your special child after 18 years but keep caring and parenting them with lots of love and emotional attachments.