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Special considerations for special needs children in divorce

When you have a special needs child, there are concerns that come into the picture if you and the child's other parent get a divorce. This can make it more difficult to work out the terms of the child custody agreement, but it is crucial that you carefully consider each point.

First, you have to decide who is going to make decisions for the child. This should include decisions about every aspect of his or her life. You need to have provisions in the custody order that dictate what is going to happen in emergency situations. For example, your custody order might say that you and your ex work together to make medical decisions for your child. What happens if your child is at your house and has a medical crises and you can't get in touch with your ex? The order should dictate what needs to happen in this type of situation.

Second, you have to determine how medical and other necessary expenses will be divided. Special needs children have expenses that other children don't have. This can make it difficult for one parent to cover all of these expenses. Having this point spelled out in the agreement can help you to avoid contention about costs in the future.

When it comes to special needs children and divorce, there isn't any one-size-fits-all solution. You should take the time to consider your child's needs and your situation so that you can work to find an agreement that is in your child's best interests. As time passes by, you might even need to modify the agreement if the circumstances change.

Source: FindLaw, "Divorce With Special Needs Child, Legal Considerations," George Khoury, Esq., accessed Feb. 10, 2017

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