Any relationships, including co-parenting, can be difficult to manage. Sharing a child with special needs can make things even more challenging, though. You’ll need to consider certain factors when sitting down at the negotiation table to discuss custody arrangements and financial matters surrounding your special needs child.
Financial considerations associated with special needs children
Special needs children often need a heightened level of care and attention than other children, a factor that may require a parent to quit their job and become their son’s or daughter’s full-time caregiver. They may find themselves needing to request additional spousal or child support to offset their expenses, especially since it’s common for one parent to retain sole physical custody in instances such as these.
Parents also need to realize that they may have to make alternate arrangements for financially supporting their special needs son or daughter after child support ends when they turn 18 or 21. It may be necessary to apply for government assistance in the form of Medicaid or Social Security Disability when your child becomes an adult.
Logistical considerations in raising special needs kids
Special needs children often need to visit their doctors or take prescription drugs or supplemental nutrition more often than other kids.
They may also require the use of specialized medical equipment, something that may be too cost-prohibitive to purchase twice. You and your ex may need to make arrangements to transport it between your homes.
It’s also common for parents of special needs children to find it necessary to acquire or arrange for specialized transportation to get their child to school or doctor’s offices.
Problems associated with shared custody of special needs kids
While parents of a special needs child can reach a shared custody agreement, it may look a lot different from others. It may involve your child spending extended time in each parent’s home rather than shorter periods during the week or month.
Sorting out all the details that come with raising a special needs son or daughter can seem overwhelming. Many Maplewood parents find it helpful to discuss the logistics of doing so with an attorney who knows what Minnesota requires of each of you in terms of providing financial and emotional support for your dependent children.