Calabrese Associates, P.C.

Call Us630-393-3111

4200 Cantera Drive, Suite 200 | Warrenville, IL 60555

Creating a Parenting Agreement for Your Special Needs Child

Creating a Parenting Agreement for Your Special Needs ChildParents of children with special needs must consider the many ways that a divorce will affect their child, as well as how having a special needs child will affect their divorce. The type of special need can determine how you explain the divorce to your child, as well as the details of your parenting plan and child support. Your divorce agreement may need a plan for how you will share responsibility for your child for the rest of your lives.

Emotional Needs

All children need special attention and emotional support when their parents are getting divorced. However, parents must use extra care when explaining divorce to a child with cognitive disabilities. You know what your child is capable of understanding and how he or she reacts to change. You may need to explain the divorce multiple times and in a way that he or she comprehends. Your child may still not understand the divorce until he or she sees the result. You can be prepared for a bad reaction to the divorce, but your child may still surprise you.

Parenting Time

It may be impractical to have a normal shared parenting schedule, where each parent has the child for a few days during the week. If your child has physical disabilities, you must consider:

  • Whether both of your homes can comfortably accommodate those needs;
  • How easily you both can reach your child’s medical care provider;
  • How you will transport your child between the homes; and
  • How much stress regular transportation may put on your child.

Children with mental conditions such as autism rely on consistency and familiar routines. A new parenting schedule may be too stressful for them. You also must consider each of your individual abilities and availabilities to care for your child on your own.

Child Support

Children with special needs may have additional expenses, such as regular medical treatment and special equipment. Illinois’ child support payments do not account for these expenses. Your divorce agreement must include how much each of you will contribute to paying these expenses as they arise. Your child may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income, which will affect your child support agreement. You also must consider whether your child will ever be able to live independently or become self-supporting. You may need to create a trust to support your child into adulthood and after you have both died.

Contact a Naperville Divorce Attorney

Children with special needs require special consideration during your divorce. A DuPage County divorce lawyer at Calabrese Associates, P.C., can help you create a parenting plan that protects your child’s needs. To schedule a consultation, call 630-393-3111.


Back to Top