In a divorce involving children, both parents have to take into consideration custody, support, and other issues that impact their well-being. When a child with special needs is involved, there are special considerations that must be made to ensure the child is properly cared for. If you and your spouse are divorcing, here are some potential considerations that should be made.
Who Pays Medical Costs?
Even if you and your spouse have reached an agreement on who will provide health care insurance for your child, you still have to factor in those expenses that extend beyond the coverage. Depending on your child's health care needs, you and your spouse could face at least hundreds of dollars of uninsured expenses each year.
To avoid conflict later, you and your spouse need to create a plan for addressing uninsured expenses. For instance, your spouse could agree to cover half of all uninsured expenses. You could also agree to pay a larger percentage of the expenses in exchange for a reduction in child support received if you are the custodial parent.
In addition to uninsured expenses, you and your spouse need to create a plan for handling expenses after your child reaches age 18. Some divorcing couples choose to wait to address future expenses because they do not have a concrete idea of what those needs will be. However, it is still possible to start the framework for a plan now.
What Can Influence Child Support?
Another consideration that can sometimes be challenging to decide upon is child support. The financial support that is needed to care for a child with special needs can sometimes complicate the situation even further.
For instance, if the custodial parent is unable to work because he or she has to care for the child on a 24/7 basis, additional support might be needed to help cover the costs of caring for the child.
You and your spouse also have to consider that the need for financial support might not end when the child turns 18. In fact, it is not uncommon for non-custodial parents to continue to pay child support even after a special needs child turns 18. The funds are usually paid into a trust, which means you and your spouse need to consider the establishment of the trust during the divorce.
There are other issues that you and your spouse need to consider. An attorney who has dealt with divorces, such as Lois Iannone Attorney at Law, involving special needs children can help you identify those issues and help you find a solution that works for both you and your spouse.