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What You Need To Know About Divorce With A Special Needs Child


When a divorce involves a child with special needs, the anxiety felt by parents can be extraordinary. But there are steps you can take to protect your child and yourself.

Getting a divorce in St. Louis is never easy, and if there is a special needs child involved in the divorce, things can be even tougher. The burden of planning for your child’s well-being, protecting their health, and ensuring they can continue to live a happy life is a heavy one. 

But there are a few ways you can make the process easier. Below are some of the basics that you should know about divorce with a special needs child.

Work Things Out With An Uncontested Divorce

A contentious divorce can sometimes be unavoidable, but you and your ex should do your best to work things out with an uncontested divorce and put the well-being of your special needs child before your personal conflicts.

A divorce with a special needs child will require a lot of planning and some compromises. The closer you and your ex work together throughout the process, the easier it will be.

Consider Your Child’s Current & Future Medical Needs

One of the most important parts of divorce arrangements with a special needs child is working out a plan for your child’s medical needs – both now and in the future.

With the help of your lawyers, you and your ex will need to work out agreements about doctors, additional healthcare expenses that may affect child support & alimony, custody and living arrangements, who is responsible for providing medical care (taking them to appointments, etc.) and other such details.

Access & Eligibility For Public Benefits

Depending on their age and situation, children may be eligible for some public disability benefits before turning 18. You will need to consider your child’s eligibility for these benefits both as a minor and adult and ensure your child’s benefits are protected.

A useful tool for this is a Special Needs Trust (SNT), which allows you and your ex to contribute money to your child without affecting their ability to get means-tested benefits like Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, or Medicare.

Contact The Betz Law Firm

At The Betz Law Firm, we are committed to guiding our clients through the court process with the same level of professionalism that we would wish for our family members. Our team of compassionate lawyers will be at your side, offering our guidance and support.

Speak With an Experienced Attorney

Our firm uses experience, good communication, and availability to help families navigate life-changing events.