Divorcing with a Special Needs Child

Going through a divorce when you have a child is incredibly difficult. However, when your child has particular and complicated medical needs, it can make an already complex situation seem all the more impossible. It is important that both parents are on-board to help with the transition of splitting parenting duties and medical needs. Here are a few special considerations that parents of special needs children need to take into account before their dissolution.

Medical Appointments

One of the most time-consuming parts of having a special needs child is the endless doctor, specialist, and therapy appointments. Logistically, splitting this between two parents can be a nightmare. One parent may know more about one aspect of their medical history or therapy schedule than the other. One parent may be unable to take off work as much as is needed. Medical appointments need to be discussed at great lengths within the mediation room to ensure that labor is split as much as possible.

Medical Costs

Special needs children need a lot of specialized care, medical equipment, and therapy. It is crucial that this is shared by both parents. In mediation, you will need to talk about monthly costs, as well as the possibility for more extensive medical bills in the event of an emergency.

Emotional Aspects of Caretaking

When it comes to a special needs child, typically, one parent is the main caretaker. They will have the majority of the medical knowledge, therapy schedules memorized, and know every doctor’s name by heart. If this is the case, the caretaking parent needs to be relieved of duties on a regular basis to maintain emotional and physical health. Talk about what your needs are, what type of activities you will participate in to take care of yourself.

Divorce Mediation

At West Coast Family Mediation Center, we look at all aspects of parent’s lives. If you have a special needs child and are going through a divorce, contact us today. We can help put together a realistic parenting plan that works for you.

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