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Considerations for co-parenting a special needs child

On Behalf of | Aug 28, 2023 | Co-parenting

In the best circumstances, parenting a child with special needs can be challenging and time-consuming. Divorce Massachusetts parents who are in this situation must be even more sensitive to their child’s routine and wishes, calling for greater cooperation between them.

Make flexibility a priority

Developing a parenting plan during divorce negotiations should always be child-centric, but parents of special needs children must be especially aware of their children’s routines. Whether you decide to share physical custody or decide it’s best if one parent retains primary custody, it may take longer for a child with special needs to adjust to a new routine. Parents may have to adapt their own routines as they transition to their new lives. Supporting each other during this transition can help ease the stress. Maintaining your new routine as much as possible can help your child adjust.

Coordination and help are essential

Even though you may be divorced, you’ll most likely continue to make frequent essential decisions with your former spouse regarding your child’s education, healthcare and other vital needs. Learn how to maintain clear communication over time and use apps and tools that document important information so you can easily share it. Various professionals will also remain an essential part of your team, so don’t hesitate to call on them when the need arises.

Your child comes first

In divorce negotiations, spouses will encounter the phrase “in the child’s best interests,” especially regarding child custody and co-parenting schedules. This phrase simply means that all decisions should focus on the child’s growth, happiness, mental and emotional health, and development. Cooperation between spouses is even more important with a special needs child because the courts can still determine custody issues if parents cannot agree.

Special needs parents may consider enlisting the help of various professionals involved with their child if they need to head to mediation to determine their co-parenting agreement. Using mediation or collaborative divorce tactics can help ensure that divorce documents meet your family’s needs, which may not happen if a judge makes the decision.