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Going through a divorce when you have a special needs child

On Behalf of | Mar 21, 2023 | Divorce

Divorce is a stressful process for any New Jersey family, but it can be particularly challenging when a special needs child is involved. Parents of children with special needs often face unique challenges when it comes to divorce, including issues related to custody, support and ongoing care for their child.

Custody arrangement

Depending on the child’s needs and abilities, one parent may be better suited to provide primary care and support, while the other parent may take on a more supportive role. In some cases, parents may choose to share custody, but this requires careful planning and communication to ensure the child’s needs are met.


Another key consideration in a divorce involving a special needs child is the issue of support. Depending on the child’s needs and the parent’s financial situation, it may be necessary to seek additional financial support to cover the costs of ongoing care and medical treatment. This may include seeking spousal support or child support payments and exploring other sources of financial assistance, such as government programs or disability benefits.

Emotional process

In addition to these legal considerations, parents of special needs children also need to think carefully about the emotional impact of divorce on their child. Children with special needs may struggle with changes in routine and may have difficulty adapting to new living situations. Parents need to work together to create a supportive and stable environment for their children, even during a divorce.

To help minimize the impact of divorce on a special needs child, parents may want to seek the advice and guidance of professionals with expertise in this area. This may include family therapists and special education professionals specializing in divorce and child custody issues.

Choosing the best option for your special needs child

Parents of special needs children must carefully consider a wide range of legal, financial, and emotional issues when navigating a divorce. However, with careful planning, communication, and support, it is possible to create a positive and stable environment for the child and ensure that their needs are being met.