Any child whose parents are divorcing will face challenges, but children who have special needs might have more difficulty than others making the adjustment. As a parent, your primary goal during this time must be ensuring that your children have what they need to thrive despite the divorce. It’s easy to become so focused on the practical matters of a divorce that you forget the extra help the kids might need during this time.

One of the first things you’ll need to figure out when your children have special needs is what parenting arrangement is going to work for them. Some conditions, such as autism, make adjusting to changes harder. Other conditions, such as those that require adaptive equipment and durable medical equipment, might make the logistics of the divorce (along with visitation and custody) a challenge. 

Another point to consider is how you and your ex will handle decision-making duties. If you plan to share them, how will you resolve disagreements? This must be outlined for a variety of decision types, including education and medical care. Social matters and extracurricular activities might also be considerations. 

You also have to figure out the financial aspects of the new arrangement. It isn’t suitable to think that one parent is going to handle all the financial responsibility for a child who has special needs, and regular child support might not cover the expenses.

Everything you and your ex decide must be spelled out in the parenting plan. This ensures that the child gets what they need and provides you and your ex with something in writing that outlines your agreement. Developing a good parenting plan is generally easiest when you work with an experienced advocate.

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