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Four Priorities for Divorcing Parents of Children with Disabilities

Mother with Child

How to Care for Children with Disabilities During a Divorce

Divorce can be a time of difficult transition and adjustment for children, especially if you have a child with a disability. Because children with disabilities need specific types of care, we’ve provided a few tips for making sure your divorce agreement works in the best interests of your child. Keep in mind that each child is unique and you should work closely with your lawyer to ensure your child’s specific needs are met.

Ensure the Final Divorce Decree is Clear

When you have a child with a disability, agreements regarding custody, visitation, education, social opportunities and medical care need to be clearly written into your final divorce decree. Working with your lawyer to ensure all documents related to your divorce are highly detailed and precise will make the change as smooth as possible for your child and prevent potential legal obstacles down the road.

Evaluate Your Child’s Needs

Education, healthcare and social opportunities are some of the most important factors in a divorce. Divorcing parents should work together and with their lawyers to ensure their child’s needs are met. It is important for divorcing parents to decide where their child will attend school and what accommodations they will need, how medical costs will be covered and where the child will receive any necessary medical care. Depending on your child’s needs and the specifics of your divorce, these decisions may be easy to make. If one divorcing parent is moving away or if your child needs extra care, both divorcing parents will need to decide what changes should be made.

Consider Long Terms of Visitation

Depending on the custody arrangement, children will typically alternate weeks or weekends between their parents. When your child has a disability, it may be helpful to establish longer terms of visitation. Doing this will allow your child to receive consistent education and medical care, plus it will provide your child with a sense of stability throughout the divorce.

Make Communication a Priority

The best way for divorcing parents and their children to handle a divorce is through clear communication. When divorcing parents communicate effectively with one another, their child’s needs are more likely to be met. Additionally, honest communication between divorcing parents will make it more likely that each party gets what they want from the divorce.

Overall, it’s important that divorcing parents are willing to make adjustments to their lives that will ultimately benefit their child. While divorce is usually a difficult time for everyone, following these tips will help you and your child adjust to life during and after a divorce.