Collaborative Law Divorce Can Help Parents of Special Needs Children

special needs, collaborative law, DuPage County Divorce AttorneyThe divorce process is challenging for any couple, and especially so for parents. However, parents of special needs children face even more complicated issues during divorce, as the impact to their child can be particular upsetting and stressful. Many parents with special needs children may often it preferable to keep divorce proceedings free from contentiousness and acrimony as much as possible by turning to collaborative law in an effort to negotiate the end to the marriage.

Countless articles and research papers have been written on the current divorce rate in the United States. While many suggest the rate is actually lower than the commonly accepted “half of all marriages end in divorce,” it is fairly difficult to establish for sure. Married parents of children with special needs, however, are far more likely to divorce. According to some estimates, couples with special needs children may face divorce rates of up to 90 percent.

Collaborative Law Can Help

Unlike a litigated divorce, a divorce negotiated through collaborative law mostly occurs outside of the courtroom. Both spouses, along with their attorneys, agree to work cooperatively toward a mutually beneficial divorce settlement. While such a process can help any couple amicably pursue a divorce, parents with special needs children may find such a solution essential to the long-term well-being of the child.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approximately 1 in 68 children are affected by an autism spectrum disorder. Among the traits most common in children with autism is the struggle with adapting to change. Parents who recognize such issues in their child may be able to minimize the shock of change by maintaining a high level of civility through the divorce, which is often more possible through collaborative law. Of course, autism represents just one of the many types of special needs that a child may have, and a collaborative divorce can be customized to address any of them.

Employing Experts

In addition to being a more cooperative process, collaborative law divorces are also able to better address the individual needs of a particular family. Litigated divorce proceedings place decisions regarding the welfare of children at the discretion of the court, based on provisions in the law. While a judge’s ruling may be completely legal, it may not fully encompass all that is truly necessary for a child, especially one with special needs.

The collaborative law process, however, can include any professionals that may offer assistance to the negotiations. For more financially complex cases, for example, an accountant or financial expert may be involved, and for divorces between parents of special needs children, child development professionals and the child’s own doctors can contribute significantly to the ultimate agreement. By doing so, the child’s needs are often better identified and provisions for them can be made with minimal stress and anxiety.

If you are the parent of a special needs child and are considering a divorce, collaborative law may offer the solution you need. Contact an experienced family law attorney in DuPage County at the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.. We have helped hundreds of clients pursue a better future and look forward to serving you.

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