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Navigating divorce with a special needs child

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2023 | Divorce, Family Law

Divorce is a complicated process that brings out all types of emotions. Parents in Maryland who must navigate a divorce with a special needs child go through even more stress. If you are a divorced parent of a special needs child, keep these tips in mind.

Additional planning

According to a study, 20% of homes in the United States include a child who has special needs or chronic illness. While parenting plans are a vital component of any divorce agreement, those plans are even more important when dealing with a special needs child. Creating smooth transitions and providing exceptional care for your children is paramount.

Consider other siblings

Siblings of children with special needs often run the risk of being “parentified,” meaning that they take on a parental role with their other siblings. If the relationship between your special needs child and their siblings is healthy, things typically go much smoother. However, if there is tension, it’s up to you and your co-parent to come up with a plan that works for all your children.

Sharing time with your ex

First of all, it’s crucial that you show your special needs the grace that they need while navigating a divorce. If this means adapting your visitation schedule, don’t be afraid to do it.

When dealing with multiple children, siblings typically travel together between parents. However, when dealing with a special needs child, be willing to adapt. If your special needs child would benefit from more time with the other parent, let the siblings travel separately on their own schedules.

Calculating costs

One of the most intense aspects of family law involves the finances associated with single parenting. When dealing with a special needs child, those costs regularly increase. Be sure to calculate the added cost of care into your parenting agreement.

While divorce is never the first option, some marriages don’t work out. Putting the needs of any children involved should be the goal of both parents.