Divorce, and particularly deciding child custody and child support, can be emotional and difficult. Custody issues may become more complex when a special needs child is involved. In many cases, the courts aren't quite sure of what your child actually requires to receive proper care. They may not understand why living in a certain neighborhood, with access to a particular school district, is critical for your child's development and future success.
That's why it is so important to seek the advice and help of an experienced divorce and family law attorney who understands special needs children and the law. Your attorney can help you put together critical documentation to establish your needs for adequate child support, perhaps above the amount determined by the standard Texas child support calculations.
Standard child support calculations don't consider special needs
The state of Texas does not have a special calculator to determine the amount of child support required by a child with special needs. Depending on the medical, social and educational needs of your child, the care and upkeep required for basic health and wellness could be several times more expensive than the needs of a typical child. It can be very difficult to convince the courts on your own that your former spouse should be paying additional support. The non-custodial parent, even knowing your child's needs, may fight any increase in his or her financial obligation to your child.
Working with an attorney who understands special needs children and they ways their lives differ from typical children can make all the difference in the world. Your divorce will probably be emotionally difficult, but with the support of an attorney, you can have the peace of mind that comes from doing the best you can for your special needs child.
What additional expenses do special needs children have?
Depending in your child's condition, the medical requirements alone could be quite high. From maintenance and upgrades to mobility equipment as your child grows to physical and occupational therapy, there can be hundreds or thousands of dollars in medical expenses each month. Additionally, the best therapies and educational programs are often available in more expensive neighborhoods and their attendant school districts. An increased support amount may allow you, as a single parent, to provide your child with access to the right therapies and educational support systems.
An attorney can help you and your special needs child
Divorce doesn't have to take an extraordinary toll on your special needs child. Having an attorney you trust to advocate for you and your child can make a major difference. It can leave you calmer and more present to interact with and support your child. It can help you obtain a better overall outcome in terms of custody, child support and asset division. If you're facing a divorce and seeking custody of your special needs child, you need the help of an experienced Texas divorce attorney.