Divorce and Children With Special Needs

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Divorce is hard. Divorce that involves children is harder, but when you have a child with special needs, the entire situation comes with its own set of challenges. Oftentimes, children with special needs require additional support and care, both financially and medically. Navigating your divorce while trying to figure out who will be responsible for what can be an extreme challenge.

If your marriage is coming to an end and you have a child with special needs, you need someone on your side you can trust. At The Financial Sherpa, we are experienced divorce financial consultants who can help you throughout the entire process and take some of the burden off of your shoulders. There are many things to consider and understand when it comes to navigating a divorce that involves a child with special needs. In this blog, we are going to go over some things to consider during this time. For more information or to work with our team of financial consultants, please contact us today.


What Will Co-Parenting Look Like?

Co-parenting can be hard. Co-parenting a child with special needs can prove to be even harder. Creating a parenting plan can help you navigate as a single parent, as well as lay out the care for your child for years to come. This also helps cover all the bases and prevent miscommunication and disagreements in the future. When you create a parenting plan, you want to be extremely detailed and think of every possible scenario. Your parenting plan can include things such as who will have primary care for your child, will you share medical decision making, what will happen if your child requires full-time care into adulthood, and so on. This plan can help keep things as stress-free as possible and ensure your child receives the care they need, which is what really matters.

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Life Insurance

Parents of a special needs child have a much higher rate of divorce than those who don’t. Some divorce cases that involve a child with special needs require one spouse to keep a life insurance policy to cover the total amount of child support that they would have to pay throughout their life in the event of their death. This ensures that your child is financially supported throughout their life and gets that care they need. Depending on your specific situation and other agreements that you make for your divorce, this may be something you will need in your divorce.

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Special Needs Trust

When a parent does set up a life insurance policy, they can make the beneficiary a special needs trust. This trust can be beneficial and ensure that any retirement or pension money, or life insurance is used for your child’s financial well-being. If your child gets government benefits, such as Social Security Disability Insurance, this trust holds their assets and allows the trustee to distribute funds and assets to your child as needed. With this trust, your child can receive monetary assets and gifts without it affecting their eligibility for government benefits. A special needs trust is a great way to ensure your child is taken care of financially.


Decision-Making Authority

When it comes to children with special needs, there are a lot of decisions that need to be made by the parents. In the event of a divorce, it is extremely important that you both take the time to consider the amount of involvement each parent has in the decision-making and finances for your child’s needs. Two areas that really matter when it comes to decision-making authority are education and medical care. For your child’s educational needs, it is important to realize that their needs may change drastically as they get older, so planning what to do in this scenario, who will make decisions, and considering other factors can help make the process simpler.

As for their medical needs, many children with special needs require extensive medical care including medication, procedures, therapy, and more. It is extremely important that both parents discuss this before any major decision needs to be made. By figuring this out at the beginning of your divorce, you can avoid a lot of disagreement and stress in the future.

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Having a child with special needs can be challenging, but adding divorce to the mix can make the entire situation much more stressful. You need someone by your side that you can trust to help you through the process and ensure that all of your bases are covered. Our team at The Financial Sherpa has experience in all areas of divorce and can help you navigate this trying time. With our help, you can feel stable in your financial future and ensure that both you and your child are taken care of. Get in touch today to learn more.

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