Parenting plans for special needs children require extra effort

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Child Custody on Friday, December 26, 2014.

When going through a divorce, one of the most difficult aspects for a couple to deal with is the children. When the couple has a child who has special needs, the difficulties with the child custody becomes even more difficult. Our Florida readers might be interested to learn how having a special needs child impacts the child custody process.

One issue parents of special needs children face is the issue of child support. Child support charts don’t adequately represent the added costs of raising a special needs child. Medical costs, respite care costs, nutritional needs costs and other services costs can add up quickly. Going through the daily care of the special needs child with those involved in the case might help them to understand your child’s specific considerations.

Another issue is that of visitation rights and actual custody. Special needs children might not be able to handle going back and forth from one parent to another. Additionally, the child might need care well into adulthood. That fact alone makes it difficult to come up parenting plans since there is no guarantee that that plan can end when the child turns 18 years old. At that age, it might be necessary for the parents to look into other options like guardianship.

Coming up with a parenting plan isn’t something that is easy for many parents. When a child has special needs, the parents might need to be more flexible. Working with someone familiar with child support and child custody laws might help to make coming up with a suitable plan.

Source: Special Needs Alliance, “Divorce and Children with Special Needs” Lili A. Vasileff, Dec. 23, 2014