Divorced or separated parents may not agree on much when their relationship ends, but the one thing most remain united over is the welfare of their children. Kids are almost always devastated when their parents break up, but that pain can be healed when everyone is committed to their well-being.
Divorce is even more challenging and complicated when it involves children with disabilities or other special needs. Crafting custody and visitation agreements taking the child’s needs into account is crucial to help them cope with the divorce and enhance their long-term physical and mental health.
Issues parenting plans should address
Pennsylvania courts want custody arrangements that prioritize a child’s best interests. While custody is decided case-by-case, the relevant factors are universal. But when a divorce involves children with special needs, parents are advised to pay extra attention to these issues:
- Frequency of switching between households
- Special education needs
- Health care treatment and therapy
- Support services
- Recreational and social opportunities
Parents who are on the same page regarding their children’s needs can resolve these issues quickly. However, if you and your ex disagree, working with an experienced attorney and other specialists can help you sort through them. If an agreement isn’t possible, a judge makes the final decision.
Your parenting plan has life-long implications
Parents of children with special needs must address many critical issues. Finding a babysitter may suddenly become complicated, as you may need a caregiver trained in working with kids with disabilities. Plus, you may have to navigate rules related to special education.
Parents want the best for their kids and help them prepare for high school, college and independent living. However, in some cases, children may need support throughout their adult lives. Having a child-focused custody agreement and parenting plan is vital to their journey to adulthood.