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Parenting Plans for Children with Disabilities - Understanding the Challenges and Considerations

 Posted on December 01, 2017 in Children

Wheaton family law attorneysParenting a child with disabilities can be a joy, but there are numerous challenges as well. When a two-parent household becomes one because of a death, divorce, or separation, those challenges can seem overwhelming. To make matters even worse, such incidents may cause severe regression and long-lasting behavioral problems in children with disabilities. Thankfully, it may be possible to mitigate against the risks in situations like divorce. Learn more, including how a well-crafted parenting plan and the assistance of an attorney can improve the outcome of your Illinois divorce.

Challenges That Special Needs' Parents May Face in Divorce

Divorcing with a special needs' child means you not only have the typical challenges in divorce, such as determining how often the child cycles between homes and how you and your ex-spouse will communicate about matters involving your child, you also have the challenges that are specific to your child. For example, if you and your spouse have not always seen eye to eye on the types of treatments or interventions that your child needs, you might be concerned over how medical decisions will be made in the future.

Creating a Parenting Plan That Meets Your Child's Needs

No two families are the same, but parents who have a child with special needs will have even more unique considerations in their parenting plan. Of paramount concern is how parents can work together to ensure that their child's medical, therapeutic, and educational needs are met in the years to come. The following questions, though not a comprehensive list of matters to consider during your divorce, can give you a good place to start:

  • Who will be responsible for taking the child to any medical appointments?
  • Will one parent be primarily in charge of the medical decisions, or will they have equal say?
  • How would disputes over medical care be handled, should they arise?
  • Would your spouse's future mate be permitted to stand in during an individualized educational plan meeting, or should your spouse always be present themselves?
  • How much will each parent pay to cover the cost of school supplies, medical treatments, and therapies?
  • Which parent will pay for the child's health coverage, and how long will it be required?
  • Who will cover any added expenses for respite care or daycare?

Safety can also be an important consideration, especially if a child is prone to aggression, elopement, or other potentially dangerous behaviors. Parents can develop a safety plan and then add its elements to the parenting plan as well. Consider how safety will be handled at both homes, as well as out in public places with the child, regardless of which parent they are with.

Contact Our Wheaton Family Law Attorneys

Parenting plans are, by nature, complex legal documents that can be difficult to navigate. When you add in the considerations for a special needs' child, parents also face the risk of forgetting a crucial element that might compromise their child's safety or care. Do not let this happen to your family. Instead, contact Stock, Carlson & Asso. LLC for seasoned legal assistance. Backed by over 40 years of legal experience each, our Wheaton family law attorneys can handle even the most complex of divorce cases. Schedule your personalized consultation by calling 630-665-2500.


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