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Put your special needs child first in your divorce

If you have a special needs child and are in the process of divorcing your spouse, you may be feeling as if you have taken on more than you can bear. Separations are never easy, and when there are fragile kids in the mix, it can make everything seem more stressful and challenging. You try to do everything possible to get what you want out of your divorce, but some of your desires may conflict with your child’s needs. 

Before you give up and agree to anything that your soon-to-be ex-spouse puts on the table, get some help. You do not have to go through this situation alone. Besides seeking guidance from a financial expert, you may want to see a therapist to help protect you and your child’s mental health. Here are a couple of considerations for you to keep in mind about divorcing with a special needs child

Consider a collaborative approach 

Your separation does not have to be a contentious one if you and your partner stay committed to protecting your child. If you both agree on most issues in your divorce, you can use collaboration to shorten the length of time it takes to make your separation final. A shorter divorce means less pain and trauma for everyone, especially your kid. Keep in mind that even if you and your ex-spouse agree on child custody and visitation, the courts can still include orders in your divorce settlement that may give provisions for your child extending well beyond the 18th birthday. 

Consider public benefits 

Do not assume that your income or financial circumstances automatically make your child ineligible for public benefits. Work with a financial advisor to gain a better understanding of your financial picture. Public benefits can ensure that your child continues to enjoy the accustomed standard of living for as long as possible. A financial expert can help you strategize your resources and settlement to prevent gaps and loopholes that could have an adverse impact on your child’s wellbeing. 

Your divorce is not all about you. The way you approach the process and the decisions you make during it can have a significant impact you and your special needs child. Keep your kid's best interests in mind while you strategize your divorce to improve both of your situations.