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Special needs children require a special divorce approach

Divorce is a challenging process under normal circumstances, but add a special-needs child into the mix and things suddenly seem a lot more complicated for people in Canton. Divorced individuals in Atlanta who co-parent a special-needs child need to pay special attention to child custody arrangements to ensure that their youngster is receiving the treatment and care for their specific conditions.

Special-needs individuals require care during their childhood, but they also may need sustained parental participation throughout their adult lives. This includes financial and social support. Because of this unusual situation, traditional custody agreements are often insufficient for ensuring continued care throughout the children's lives.

Furthermore, adapting access schedules can be more difficult with disabled children, as both homes need to be outfitted with special equipment for the child's care. Also, some children don't function well when they are shifted from place to place, which can make scheduling visits very difficult.

The most important aspect of child custody negotiation with a special-needs child is the close involvement of both parents. Taking a joint decision-making approach is generally the best route because even some state-sponsored programs require parental input to determine whether a child can receive services. Parents are also expected to be heavily involved in the child's schooling and physical treatments.

Sometimes, parents even involve a third party, known as a parenting coordinator, who aids in decision-making and communication. That person, who has a neutral stance, can help the family determine what its needs are, limiting the amount of conflict and thus making the split easier for everyone. Maintaining a healthy, communicative relationship with your ex-spouse can smooth the transition for a disabled youngster, lowering the stress and conflict that generally accompanies divorce.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Listen to Our Children in Need: Special Needs Children and Divorce," Sherri Donovan, May 4, 2012

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law
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Marietta, GA 30060

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