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What Should I Know About Divorce and Special-Needs Children?

The Collin County Law Group Nov. 18, 2020

Divorce can be very difficult on the most resilient children; however, if you are looking at a divorce in Texas and a special-needs child is involved, the situation becomes infinitely more complex. According to the Special Needs Alliance, divorcing with a special needs child in the balance requires attention to details that many other couples will not need to attend to.

Depending on the needs of the child, divorcing parents may need to consider lifelong care requirements. While the majority of children will stop receiving child support once they reach the age of majority, many special-needs children will require parental care for the rest of their lives. This is why it is very important for parents of special-needs children who are going through a divorce to make long-term plans.

Also, if the child is a recipient of SSI or other government benefits due to his or her disabilities, special attention needs to be paid to alimony and child support payments. Too much money in the form of “unearned income” can count against the government benefits and leave the child without proper provisions for medical care. While most divorces tend to seek to maximize the amount of child support as this is seen as in the best interest of the child, this is not necessarily true where special-needs are involved.

Coming up with a long-term plan for the care of a special-needs child is paramount during a divorce. If both parents can work together as a team where the needs of the child is concerned, the amount of stress on all parties will diminish and this will achieve the best possible outcome.