If you have a child with special needs and you are considering divorce, you may have numerous concerns and questions about how your child will be affected by your divorce. Each marriage is unique and each divorce is also unique. However, there are a few things you can keep in mind in order to better prepare for meeting your child's needs during and in the wake of divorce.
Family court judges are required to make child custody arrangements in the best interests of any child affected by a parental split. This is an excellent foundation by which you can approach your divorce. If you and your spouse dispute what arrangements are in the best interests of your special needs child, a judge will be compelled to decide these arrangements according to his or her judgment.
However, if you and your spouse can work together to create parenting plans and custody arrangements for your child on your own, you can better ensure that your child will be provided with what you think he or she needs, not just what a judge thinks he or she needs.
Regardless of whether you are crafting a parenting plan or helping your attorney craft a strategy to be employed during a custody dispute, you should keep your special needs child's best interest in the forefront of your mind. If you are advocating on behalf of your child's needs as opposed to simply your own, a judge will be much more likely to honor the arrangements you are advocating for.
Source: The Huffington Post, "Divorce and the Child With Special Needs," Marie Hartwell-Walker, Feb. 3, 2014