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Tips for divorcing parents with special needs children

If you are a parent of a child with special needs, co-parenting can be incredibly challenging when getting a divorce in Indiana. Understanding the complexity of these cases is essential to crafting an equitable plan.

Set a routine

Children with special needs often thrive on routine. Therefore, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse may want to establish a routine that both parents expect the child to follow. Usually, children with special needs should stay in one location and parents to switch out.

Have a parenting meeting

Especially if one parent has been doing most of the caregiving, it is vital that the parents calmly discuss how things, like medicine and medical equipment, need to be done. If you find having a rational conversation with your spouse challenging, consider asking a third party, like the child’s teacher or therapist, to attend the meeting. Often, it is a good idea to have the meeting at a neutral location, such as your child’s school or a family law office.


All children need their parents to work together to make decisions about their future, but this is especially true for children with special needs. Therefore, you must learn to communicate with your soon-to-be ex-spouse as you work through challenges about the future together. Remember that these challenges may differ for these children from their siblings.

Handle Finances Together

It is often costly to raise a child with special needs. When creating a parenting plan, discuss the added expenses and decide how you will cover them. Additionally, you need to think long-term, such as setting up a special needs trust to care for the child as they mature.

Co-parenting children with special needs requires open communication so everyone can embrace a routine, follow care instructions and prepare for the future.