For parents, the hardest part of a divorce is often dividing up the custody and time with their children. For parents of children with special needs, the issues can be fraught with complications.
Any couple that shares a special needs child is bound to have both logistical and financial matters to discuss when sorting out a parenting agreement. You must understand what these unique needs are, as they might come in handy when you’re negotiating a custody agreement.
Logistics associated with raising a special needs child
Many special needs children may have more obligations than other kids. Special needs kids may need to visit their doctor, undergo more frequent treatments or receive certain nutritional supplements or medication at specific intervals. Special needs kids may also require costly medical equipment that someone needs the training to operate. It may be necessary for parents to make special transportation arrangements for their child, too.
Both parents need to be well-versed as to their child’s needs and have the skill to aid their child if they’re going to share joint physical custody.
How raising special needs children impacts finances
It’s quite common for at least one parent to need to quit their job to take care of their special needs child full-time. Parents who do have to quit working often retain sole physical custody of their son or daughter. This often warrants additional support necessary to cover their special needs child’s expenses.
Parents of special needs kids must also discuss options for covering their son or daughter’s financial needs after reaching adulthood, including how to plan for things like disability benefits and healthcare — and how to make sure that someone is handling the adult child’s finances properly.
Sorting out custody when you have a special needs child
It’s wisest to sit down with professionals to learn more about what’s in your child’s best interests, both emotionally and financially, down the road. A child custody attorney can help jumpstart this conversation and point in the right direction of others who can also help.