What does my divorce lawyer need to know about my children?

Authored by Wendy Witt, Esq.

If your children have any special needs, spill the beans right away. It makes a difference in finances, time-sharing, and estate planning. If you have one child with special needs and others who do not, different plans are likely appropriate.

  • Finances. A special needs child may be financially dependent for a lifetime. This means that marital property settlements, child support, medical insurance, and life insurance plans must take special needs into consideration. Following state child support guidelines is likely insufficient.
  • Timesharing. If your special needs child doesn't do well with change or needs specialized medical equipment, typical timesharing agreements won't be in his or her best interests.
  • Estate Planning. Be sure to meet with an estate planning attorney when going through the divorce process. Divorce itself usually dictates a change in the estate plan and if you want a say in how your children are raised and supported, you absolutely need to document your wishes.

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