As previously discussed, parents in Texas raising children with special needs face different challenges than parents that are not. Because every family is different, these unique factors come into play when parents decide to divorce. The costs associated with raising a child are often a concern, especially when parents are no longer in a relationship with one another. Thus, parents with special needs children need to consider the costs associated with raising their special needs child when requesting child support.
Based on a recent study, roughly 5.6 million children with special needs in the U.S. receive 5.1 hours of weekly in-home medical care. Depending on the condition the child is suffering, a child may receive more. However, the costs associated with this can be extensive, especially for those with limited means. Hiring a professional caregiver means paying $6,400 a year per child. Even an unskilled professional to help care for a child would cost a parent around $2,100 a year.
In the United States, families provide roughly $36 billion annually in uncompensated in-home medical care for their children with special needs. What does this mean? It means that a parent will often stay at home to care for a child because they cannot afford in-home care or were not approved for benefits.
So, when it comes to calculating the needs of a child living with special needs, divorcing parents also need to consider all medical expenses, such as in-home care. In addition to what parents pay out of pocket to obtain professional medical care, the costs associated with a parent staying at home part-time or full-time to care for a child can be calculated as well.
Children are expensive, and divorcing parents need to consider the current and future costs associated with raising their children. For children with special needs, this means considering any medical or educational costs associated with their care. Reaching a fair and workable child support order may not be easy for all parents, but it is the best way to ensure the best interest of the child are met and protected.
Source: News.usc.edu, “Caring for special-needs children at home brings high cost,” Emily Gersema, Dec. 27, 2016