Divorce and the Special Needs Child

Kimberly A. Packman's Divorce Legal Blogs

Licensed for 20 years

Attorney in Haddonfield, NJ

Kimberly A. Packman

Credit cards accepted, Fixed hourly rates

Serving Haddonfield, NJ

  • Serving Haddonfield, NJ

  • Credit cards accepted, Fixed hourly rates

Partner at firm Adinolfi & Packman, P.A.

Serving Haddonfield, NJ

Credit cards accepted, Fixed hourly rates

Awards AV Preeminent

While it is important in the context of any divorce involving children for the parents to set aside emotion and focus on the best interests of their child(ren), never is this more critical than for parents raising a child with special needs.

Careful planning and detailed consideration is not only necessary to provide for the short term financial issues connected with the parties divorce, such as the appropriate calculation of child support without jeopardizing receipt of any government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”), Social Security Disability Income (“SSDI”), Medicare and Medicaid, but also to address the long term issues arising in the context of the care and custody of an individual who may very well require lifelong assistance.

In many instances, the establishment of a Special Needs Trust is essential to protect a child’s support/assets without disqualifying him or her from government benefits.

Parents of special needs children, such as those with Autism or other mental or physical developmental disabilities, must plan for the future needs of their child(ren). Decisions will need to be made regarding who will be responsible for making educational decisions for the child including but not limited to working with Child Study Teams, physical, occupational and speech therapists, creating an Individual Education Plan (“IEP”) and applying for benefits through the Division of Developmental Disabilities (“DDD”).

As the child reaches the age of 18, a determination regarding the appropriateness of a guardian may be required. Adequate estate planning including a Will, Power of Attorney, or Advance Health Care Directive (or Living Will) may be necessary to permit parents to continue to handle medical and financial decisions on behalf of the child.

As in any divorce, advanced and informed planning with the benefit and assistance of compassionate and experienced counsel will minimize disputes following divorce.

To learn more, contact Kimberly A. Packman, Esquire, a knowledgeable New Jersey Special Needs Attorney or one of the other qualified New Jersey divorce attorneys at the Haddonfield, New Jersey law firm of Adinolfi & Lieberman, P.A. by calling (856) 428-8334 or by visiting our website at www.sjfamilylawyers.com.

While it is important in the context of any divorce involving children for the parents to set aside emotion and focus on the best interests of their child(ren), never is this more critical than for parents raising a child with special needs.

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