Special Needs Children and Divorce

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Special Needs Children and Divorce

The parent with the most financial income from a career or when taking on financial projects, can be usually considered as the one tasked with paying child support for the person that has primary custody. This is usually the father, however in some instances, the mother is the person who must provide monetary support to the child.

The end of a marriage is exhausting and often requires considerable effort and planning to make sure a desirable outcome is attained. This is even more accurate when custody issues must be resolved. If the child has special needs, the essential planning for custody and child provision can be more intricated.

Special needs children necessitate medical care, services, equipment, vitamins and other nutritional supplements, and non-prescription treatments that must be considered during the divorce and are not included on the basic child sustenance plans.

A parenting plan, incorporates the schedules of the parents and child for visitation and child care should be implemented. From the outset, it can be helpful for both parents to agree on what the child’s definite capabilities and disabilities are. This will form the baseline of what kind of care is essential and appropriate and can help estimate some of the financial costs. The parenting plan for the special needs of a child, should be very explicit to vital care instructions and provisions for third party care, should one of the parents be unavailable during their allotted time with the child.
Child Support

Child support payments must accommodate the care requirements of the special needs child. Future care needs and costs can be difficult to predict, but managing the care of severely disabled children can negatively impact the earnings potential of the custodial parent and should be considered in the divorce proceedings. Typically, child support ends when a child is no longer a minor, or when they complete their schooling. Therefore, for a special needs child, they may need life-long care and co-parenting. Matters of guardianship, independent living, employment, social skills, and recreation should also be addressed in the divorce agreement.

Special needs children are often eligible for public benefits. It is vital to take this into consideration, when making a child support agreement, so as not to disqualify the child’s privilege to assistance. The services of a knowledgeable lawyer and financial adviser are indispensable in this case. It may be best to establish a special needs trust to avoid direct payments to the custodial parent as many assistance programs have a test to qualify the child.


For more information and guidance please email Michalaki, Pitsillidou & Co LLC – Cyprus Lawyers, at info@impklawyers.com or visit our website at https://impklawyers.com.Tel. +357 25660092 – Fax +357 25 660097.

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