Divorcing isn’t ideal, especially when you have a special needs child. However, sometimes it’s truly the best course of action for all parties involved. Here’s what goes into making custody and support decisions when a child has unique needs.
Determining the Capacity of Each Parent to Care for a Special Needs Child
Custody and visitation will need to be awarded and the biggest factor in a special needs custody case is the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s needs. Does one parent have a demanding job that requires long hours away from home? If so, that parent may not be the best choice for primary custodian. Courts also consider if either parent has any significant advantages; e.g. if one parent is a pediatrician, it may be in the best interests of the child to award that parent with primary custody.
Calculating the Cost of Medical Care and Related Expenses
Typically, the care of a special needs child is costly and includes expenses for doctor visits, hospitalization, therapy, medication, special diets, and sitters for when the primary caregiver is not able to be with the child. These costs should be shared by both parents and will be considered when making a child support determination.
Planning for the Child’s Needs in the Future
A special needs child may continue to need financial and medical support for the rest of their lives. Whereas child support payments usually end when the child reaches the age of 21 in New York, support may continue for children who have unique needs. Continuation of support is typically determined after working with a forensic accountant or other financial analyst to estimate the continued cost of care throughout the child’s life.
When to Contact a Brooklyn Divorce Lawyer for Help
If you’re considering a divorce or have been served with divorce papers, it’s critical to consult with an attorney as soon as possible. This is especially the case when a divorcing couple shares a special needs child. Protecting your child’s best interests and ensuring that they have the care they need as long as they need it can be difficult to do alone.
Mary Katherine Brown is an experienced Brooklyn divorce lawyer who can help you understand your rights and legal options when going through the divorce process with a special needs child. Call today for a consultation at (718) 878-6886.Posted in : Divorce ,