Claudette-Jean Girard, Attorney at Law
Local 413-315-5518
Toll Free 877-622-6089

Family Law Attorney

I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

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Child support could differ in cases with special-needs children

There are several months out of the year that are dedicated to bringing awareness to certain causes. The month of April is National Autism Awareness Month, and with this month comes an array of information on many different subjects concerning autism and those who have been diagnosed with the disorder. As a recent report found, Massachusetts parents of children with autism are no more likely to divorce than those without special-needs children, but like all parents, those with autistic children could face the possibility of seeking divorce and handling child support issues.

As with many types of disabilities, children with autism made need special schooling, therapy or other assistance that can contribute to a financial strain. Handling these expenses as a single parent could increase the level of stress a parent feels as well as the possibility of not being able to fully provide for a special-needs child in the best way possible. As a result, when parents divorce, they should focus on ways to ensure that their child is well-cared for.

Consulting with a therapist and other knowledgeable parties may be able to help parents going through divorce understand how their special-needs child will be affected. This could include an emphasis on how child support decisions may affect the well-being of the child now and in the future. Some parents may choose to set up a special fund that could be covered under child support and that could help provide for the child for many years.

Going through divorce and focusing on the needs of a child with autism can lead to additional stress for the situation. However, information is available that can help parents better understand how to move forward and make beneficial decisions regarding child support and custody. Massachusetts laws concerning divorce, special child support funds and other related issues could help parents learn more about how to handle their circumstances.

Source: The Huffington Post, "When Parents of a Child With Autism Divorce: Separating Myth From Reality", Bari Zell Weinberger, April 4, 2014

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