Considerations For Divorcing Parents With Special Needs Children

Every child is different. Every family is different. Westchester Matrimonial attorneys are experienced in advocating on behalf of parents and children with special needs. No matter what your child’s and family’s needs, an experienced Westchester Matrimonial attorney will be with you every step of the way.

Educational Expenses

Additional educational expenses may be required for a child with special needs. Will your child be enrolled in private school? Public school? Will your child require educational assistance that his or her school does not currently provide? When divorcing with special needs children, it is important to consider how your child’s educational expenses will be paid and your child’s current and future educational needs. Consult with a Westchester Matrimonial attorney to determine the most advantageous way to advance for your child’s educational needs.

Medical Expenses

Unreimbursed medical expenses may be significant for your child. Consider how out of pocket medical costs will be allocated between the parents following the divorce. Provisions may be included in a settlement agreement that require the parents to agree to any unreimbursed medical expenses prior to the expense being incurred. Other provisions may include an agreement by the parents that the children will only be treated by in-network doctors unless the parents agree to use another provider in advance. There are many ways to structure a settlement to ensure that your child will be able to continue to receive necessary medical care. Speak with a Westchester Matrimonial attorney today to determine the arrangement that works best for your family.

Special Needs Trusts

Supplemental Needs Trusts are an option to consider. A special needs trust is a trust created to ensure that the beneficiary’s needs will be taken care of without necessarily giving the beneficiary direct access to the money in the trust. Westchester Matrimonial attorneys work closely with estate planning attorneys to ensure that your special needs trust is drafted to accomplish your goals and give you the greatest fiscal advantage possible.

Life Insurance

Life insurance policies to secure child support and add-on obligations. In many divorce cases, parents agree to (or the Court orders the parents to) hold a life insurance policy in an amount sufficient to secure their child support and add-on obligations for the children until the children’s emancipation. A parent’s add-on expense obligations for a child with special needs may be significant. It is important to consider this fact in obtaining a life insurance policy for the benefit of your child to ensure that the child’s needs will continue to be met in the event a parent passes away. Ask a Westchester Matrimonial attorney about how life insurance should be handled in your case.

About The Author


Jessica H. Ressler has been practicing exclusively matrimonial and family law for the past ten years in New York. She is a member of the panel for attorneys for children in Westchester and Putnam Counties. She appears regularly in the New York Family and Supreme Courts representing both adults and children.