Unlike typical situations where child support ends when the child reaches the age of majority, special needs children often require ongoing care and support throughout their lives. As a result, determining when child support should end during a divorce can be a complex and sensitive issue. Custody considerations may require careful consideration and planning as well.
Here are some answers to basic questions that can help guide couples with an adult child with special needs when deciding to get a divorce:
How is custody determined?
Custody is determined based on the child’s best interests, considering the child’s special needs. It is important to consider the child’s medical, educational and emotional needs and their relationships with both parents when deciding custody of a child with physical or mental disabilities.
Is child support different for a child with special needs?
The court may consider additional expenses related to the child’s special needs, such as medical bills, therapy and assistive technology.
Can child support be extended?
In some cases, the court may extend child support for an adult child with special needs if the child cannot support themselves due to their disability. Depending on the state’s laws where the couple filed the divorce, a court order may be required.
How to ensure the child’s needs are met?
Creating a parenting plan that considers the child’s special needs is crucial. This plan should outline the child’s medical and educational needs and any accommodations or modifications that need to be made by the parents to ensure the child’s well-being.
What resources are available?
Parents of children with special needs may benefit from working with an attorney who has experience with special needs cases. Additionally, many organizations and support groups can provide guidance and resources for parents navigating the divorce process with a child with special needs.
When going through a divorce with a child with special needs, the most important consideration is prioritizing the child’s well-being and working together to meet the child’s needs.