The Law Firm of Debra J. Braselton, P.C.
Illinois Matrimonial and Family Law 630-DIVORCE

Creating a parenting plan for children with special needs

Divorce in itself is one of the most difficult life experiences you may endure in your lifetime. However, when there is a child with special needs in the middle, divorce can be even more stressful. 

In making sure your child's needs are met during and after the divorce, there is a lot to consider. Creating a detailed parenting arrangement is essential to protect a child with special needs during a divorce. 

Most parenting plans involve creating a schedule of parenting time, as well as a comprehensive list of responsibilities and strategies for resolving disagreements. A parenting plan for a child with special needs includes these elements and more.

The goal of the parenting plan is to reduce risk to the child as much as possible. Every child is different and has unique needs. That is why it is necessary to tailor the plan to meet your child's individual needs. However, there are a few critical items that every parent should include in their parenting plan.

Create a detailed schedule

This is still an extremely important part of the parenting arrangement. Children with special needs often require extensive care, including overnight care. It will be helpful to create consistency with the care schedule by determining your availability and flexibility. 

Make a strategy for decision-making

You and your spouse have experience facing important decisions regarding your child's healthcare and educational needs. Making decisions in the best interest of your child can be challenging, but it can be even more so after a divorce.

It is necessary to establish a decision-making process in the parenting arrangement. You may want to consider how you will approach decisions and how you will communicate with each other.

Plan for their future

Another important thing to consider in the parenting plan is how to approach your child's development into adulthood. After turning 18, children are no longer under the legal custody of their parents. A guardianship or special needs trust can help you create a care plan for adult children with special needs, but it is important for you and your spouse to agree, so you can prevent future disputes.

When children are involved in a divorce, the child's best interest is always the most important factor. You know your child best and creating a parenting plan that meets their needs can make caring for your child after a divorce just a little easier. 

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