Divorce is never an easy situation. In ideal circumstances, there can be emotional tension, sadness, and a fear of the unknown future. Divorcing under complex situations can increase those aspects, and things can get complicated when caring for a disabled child.
When you enter a marriage, you intend “to have and to hold, until death do you part.” Still, there is a 50% chance a marriage will end in a divorce, and that rate jumps to 70% when couples have a child with special needs. There may be special considerations for divorces involving children with disabilities.
A child may need stable routines
While not every disability is the same, most people thrive in predictable routines. Suppose you have a child on the autism spectrum. In that case, you may find that routine and predictability are critical aspects of successful daily living.
Switching between two homes frequently may negatively impact a child with a disability that needs predictability. Additionally, if a child has special needs, the differences in parenting styles may create internal chaos for the child.
Considerations for child support
The cost of raising a child can also be an area that differs from typical divorce when dealing with special needs. Depending on the severity or type of disability, a parent may incur extra costs regarding:
- Medical appointments
- Supportive equipment
- Adaptive technology
- Permanent child care
- Medical supplies
With the extra costs associated with raising a disabled child, child support may have additional considerations. Furthermore, if the disability is a lifelong consideration, the courts may also consider that.
Suppose you’re going through a divorce as the parent of a special needs child. In that case, you may want to become familiar with child custody and support laws. That way, you can ensure that you and your child have the best future possible.