Getting a divorce is difficult enough on its own, without adding the extreme
challenges and complexity of having a child with special needs involved. You and your spouse need to pay attention to a lot more details required to plan for your child’s future, well-being, and protection. To ease some of the stress and tension, it is important for both you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to consider what your child’s special needs are and have your Central Valley divorce attorney walk you through a day of caring for your child.
Child Support for a Special Needs Child
Generic charts do not generally address the extra expenses necessary to care of a child with special needs. This is an important factor to consider when calculating child support as part of your divorce. Some items you should consider include the need for:
- Specialty medical care
- Non-prescription treatments
- Vitamins and nutritional needs
If you do not know exactly what your additional costs will be to care for your special needs child after the divorce is final, it will make it nearly impossible to adequately estimate disability-related expenses in a divorce settlement. Your Central Valley divorce attorney can help you explore how much you and your spouse agree about your child’s disabilities and abilities. Only then will you be able to devise a child support plan that adequately meets the needs of your child’s special needs and your ability to take care of him or her.
How Long Is Child Support Given?
In most cases, child support ends when a child reaches the age of majority or when he or she graduates from college. However, this may not be the case if your child has special needs. The reason is that disabilities involve severe impairments that can require life-long care and life-long co-parenting.
As such, it is important that the divorce agreement considers the unique issues of your child’s special needs, including his or her eligibility for quasi-government or private agency benefits, employment, recreation and social skills, independent living, or custodial care.
Having a child with special needs can also impact the spousal support portion of your divorce agreement. Your spousal support portion of the divorce agreement should also incorporate the aforementioned factors discussed above.
The Importance of an Experienced Attorney
The complex nature of caring for a child with special needs in a divorce proceeding makes it even more important for you and your spouse to hire an experienced Central Valley divorce attorney. A good attorney can ensure that the finalized agreement is tailored to your unique situation and reflects the long-term costs involved.
Call an Experienced Central Valley Divorce Attorney
If you are involved in a divorce proceeding, planning to file for divorce, or are have a special needs child involved in the divorce, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you learn your legal rights and options with respect to the division of your assets.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Central Valley family law attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.