legallogs special needs divorce

Divorce More Likely with Kids with Special Needs

A child with “special needs” is a broad spectrum of conditions that can strain a family. Whether it’s a physical disability, a cognitive delay or both, early intervention and a positive environment are the 2 key factors that can help keep a family together. While the likelihood of divorce increases when one or more children have special needs and educational requirements, the reasons for divorce can be varied. A study in Maternal and Child Health Journal recognizes the financial and psychological strain accompanying the daily and longterm attention associated with a child with special needs including low birth rate. In fact, these couples have 2x the likelihood of divorcing. 

Psychological Strain

The demands of a new baby are extreme regardless of if it’s your 1st child or your 7th. A new baby changes the dynamic of a family for a period of time until everyone has time to adjust. A healthy baby will grow and develop, naturally evolving out of previous behaviors to make room for more advanced thinking and world navigation. When a child has special needs, it’s in those early years that a child’s development takes a turn toward the unpredictable. When a child stops reaching developmental benchmarks and What To Expect doesn’t apply to you anymore, there is a storm of emotions and much mental anguish. Some parents even go through the 5 stages of grief, mourning the loss of a future they had hoped for their child. When parents are struggling with their own sense of mental imbalance, they are no good to the other partner. Couples can save their marriage when they work together, from the onset, toward the well-being and life quality of their child.

Financial Strain 

Journalist Jeff Howe, estimates an annual spending of $100,000 on various expenses for his child with special needs. Jeff admits that he and his wife, who had to leave her job to attend to their son, are able to afford that hefty price. Not all of us can say the same. While there are resources available at the state and local level to assist in funding the on-going care of a child with special needs, not all parents know where to look. Additionally, once the right rocks are turned over and resources are found, the heavy lifting of advocating for a child lies solely on a parent. Attorneys fees, lost wages,  and costs for diapers, medical bills, prescriptions, outside care providers and more can add up. That sort of financial burden can weigh heavily on a tired and frustrated couple. 

The key to survival is to look for outside help.

There are resources out there that can help you find the right support and guidance.  LegalLogs can help you maintain and organize your documentation for the ongoing care of your child. You are their best advocate and we are with you every step of the way.


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