Divorce is hard on any child, but it poses the most significant problems for those with special needs. Often vulnerable to the smallest disruptions, children may suffer huge setbacks if their family splits up. This shouldn’t be reason enough to remain in a bad marriage; the chaos of a dysfunctional relationship is arguably far worse for children than the brief difficulties of divorce. Still, it’s essential that you proceed with caution — one wrong move could spell years of suffering for your special needs child. Keep the following in mind as you pursue the least disruptive divorce possible:
Focus on Routine When Establishing Parenting Time
When determining custody and visitation arrangements, Minnesota courts prioritize the best interests of the child in question. This is particularly true when special needs come into play. As parent, however, you enjoy a significant say in the type of environment that is most likely to benefit your child.
Routine can provide a sense of security in the midst of divorce chaos. A solid routine is particularly important for children with special needs, who crave patterns and familiarity. While some initial disruption may be unavoidable, it should be you and your ex’s top prerogative to maintain as steady a schedule as possible.
Keep the Big Picture in Mind
As you get bogged down in the day-to-day aspects of caring for a child with special needs, you may neglect the long-term implications of your divorce. In many cases, joint decision-making extends long after your special needs child reaches age 18. Before you launch an aggressive fight against your ex, keep in mind that this person may continue to play a huge role in your child’s — and by extension, your — life in years, even decades to come.
The trusted team at the law firm of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. can help you secure the best possible arrangements for your special needs child. Reach out today to learn which options might be the most viable for ensuring your child’s health and well being.