April is Autism Awareness month, and one statistic that is frequently discussed in reference to autism is the increased rate of divorce for parents of autistic children. A 2010 study in the Journal of Family Psychology found that 23.5% of parents with autism divorced, compared to 13.8% of parents with children outside the autism spectrum. There is no question that a special needs child places additional strain on a marriage, as well as on the family finances which in turn creates more stress.
If your child has autism and you are considering divorce, you are likely concerned about how it will affect your child. It is usually recommended that the child see a child therapist who specializes in autism and has experience with children of divorce. The therapist can offer valuable advice on how to transition to a new parenting plan, help your child cope with change, and manage the bumps you are likely to encounter along the way. This therapist can likely provide guidance about what type of parenting plan would work best for your child and expert opinion such as this is crucial in helping the court understand your child’s needs.
While the parenting plan is likely one of your biggest concerns, it is also a good idea to discuss child support with your attorney. Your child has extraordinary medical needs and it is essential to create a child support plan that takes these into account. One important option you need to consider is a special needs trust, which allows you and the other parent to place funds in a trust for your child’s care which will be exempt from New Jersey Medicaid resource tests.
DeTorres & DeGeorge understands your concerns about your special needs child and is here to help you make the best decisions possible in Bridgewater, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Schedule an appointment by calling 908-284-6005.