Divorce Special Needs Child

Divorce Papers > Child Divorce > Divorce Special Needs Child

If the parents seeking divorce have a child with a disability, then the divorce proceeding becomes more complex. Such parents would obviously need to hire a lawyer, who has expertise in family law. Moreover, another lawyer would be essential, who has experience in public benefits planning and establishment of special needs trusts. Both these lawyers can collaborate to maximize extent for the public and other benefits that would be allocated to the child with disabilities.

Pertinent points of Divorce Special Needs Child

Cooperation between parents

While the divorce is in progress, the parents argue with one another over various aspects of their divorce. If they have a special needs child, they must keep in mind that this child should not be impacted by their arguments. There is a special need that the parents must cooperate to keep the well being of the child intact. They must have an open outlook during discussions of medical bills, daycare, child support and other costs pertaining to the child.

Physical Constraints

Let us assume that the parents are trying to develop custody or parenting time plan. While doing this, they must have the following 2 points in mind.

  • The child's requirements must be fulfilled
  • It must be physically possible for the parent to take care of this child

It may happen that it is not physically possible for one parent to take care of the child. Then, the custody plan must be modified accordingly. Another option is to contact community resources that are ready to extend their help regarding this topic.

Schooling facts

A majority of children with special needs are placed on a 504 plan or IEP (Individualized Education Plan). The design of these plans is such that the child is given specialized instruction or a special education curriculum that is tailor-made for the individualized educational requirements of such a child.

The parents seeking divorce should be cognizant of the fact that if their child is on IEP, the school district is not in need of the signatures of either parent for any reason related to school. Although, the parents have been awarded joint custody, the school district does not feel the need to consult either or both the parents.

Divorce Special Needs Child Trust

A 'Third Party Special Needs Trust' is that, which is created by a person other than the special needs child or beneficiary. For instance, it may be created as a part of the parent's estate plan.

'Self Settled' or 'd4A' or 'd4C' Trust is another type of Special Needs Trust. This is created on behalf of or by the person with special needs using this person's own property or funds. Such trusts are allowed by Federal Law.

Let us take into account a child with disabilities, who is a recipient of Medicaid or SSI (Supplemental Security Income). The parent having custody of this child may show receipt of child support. It is considered that this support belongs to the child. Consequently, this may lead to disqualification or reduction (of amount) of the child from getting Medicaid or SSI. There is a solution to prevent this disqualification or reduction. The parent, who pays child support, should forward the payments to a Special Needs Trust instead of the custodial parent.

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