Hackensack Divorce With Children With Special Needs Considerations Lawyer

If you’re reading this, most likely you are considering a divorce— and you have a child with special needs considerations. If you do, you already know both the ups and downs of such: how exhausting and difficult parenting can feel, but also how rewarding too. While you may sometimes struggle to hold your temper, you also know the joy of an unexpected smile at a moment when you and your child with special needs connect.

However, no one enters a marriage thinking of the dissolution of the marriage— and with a child with special needs, it can often feel like your marriage, your romance, has been crushed under the weight of this heavy responsibility. The decision to divorce is difficult, and if you decide to do so, you’ll want to handle it as best as possible, given the circumstances. That’s where a Hackensack divorce with children with special needs considerations lawyer comes into play.

You get it— you’re the parent; you’ve been there. You’ve been there for all the unexpected highs a child with special needs can gift to you, as well as the lowest of lows that you dread. (The truth is, of course, only parents of children with special needs will understand the highest of those highs and the lowest of those lows.) Yet you’ve never been here: at the moment of divorce, with a child with special needs. Well, we get that— we know divorce, and we know life – and divorce – with children with special needs. This is why help from a seasoned divorce attorney at our firm may be key for your divorce.

Let’s examine some of the ways this type of divorce may need extra attention

Public Assistance

Obviously finances are often a key component of a divorce, and a stressful one at that. Beyond the negotiation of alimony and child support, the financial responsibilities encumbered upon the parents of a child with special needs can add up quickly. A lawyer may be able to assist you in discovering which public assistance programs could potentially ease the financial burden of divorcing co-parents.


Many aspects of life for a child with special needs may be different, though none more so at a young age than education. Are different classes with specialized teachers required? What about a different type of school? Is schooling, as we define it in the traditional sense, possible? This (like so many aspects here) will overlap with the question of cost, but a lawyer will help you navigate what is in the best interest of your child with special needs.


Oftentimes a divorce with children will involve a fifty-fifty joint custody arrangement, and that’s that; other times one parent will be the primary custodian, depending upon career responsibilities, previous standards of care, and other factors. With a child with special needs considerations, custody may be a far trickier issue, especially if, as often occurs, there are siblings who do not have special needs considerations. Who is going to be the primary parent of this child, and how will that parent balance their custodial responsibilities with work, their mental health, etc.? What custody arrangements can be implemented so that both co-parents feel they’re both getting necessary and adequate time with the children but also taking care of themselves? A divorce with children with special needs considerations lawyer— as part of your new legal divorce team— will work with you to determine the best arrangement for you, your children, and your family.


As your child with special needs ages, will certain protections need to be put into place? Oftentimes a parent may seek legal guardianship of an adult child to make vital decisions, play a prolonged parental role, in the adult life of their child with special needs considerations. The question of how this fits with what you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse is something to be discussed with your lawyer.

Estate Planning

It’s hard to think of what our children’s lives will be like after we’re gone— we want to be there for them all the time, for as long as we can. Yet, with a child with special needs, estate planning is paramount. You want to ensure trust to take care of the child who can’t take care of themselves, or you may need to have frank and candid discussions with your siblings (their aunts and uncles) and their siblings (your other children) about what the future will look like, both on a day-to-day level and financially, for your child with special needs. These may be painful conversations and difficult decisions— but if not addressed it will only be more painful for your children. You must be assured that what you provide for the future of a child with special needs will not preclude or interfere with any governmental benefits that might be otherwise available.

The truth is the topic of divorce with special needs children is one of the hardest we deal with— certainly amongst the hardest of divorces. It is fraught with disappointment, exhaustion, and often frustration— as well as, sometimes, senses of longing and regret. We try to remind our clients to take deep breaths, be as civil as they can to their former spouse, who’s their current co-parent, and be extra kind to themselves: this is hard work.

Our motto is Move Forward, and, with the right legal team, you will. O’Cathain Law Group Family Law Department has extensive experience in handling divorces in which children have special needs considerations— we know what that specifically entails. In addition to our team of dedicated family law lawyers, family law paralegals, and support staff, we have 24/7 call answering, so if you leave a word, your attorneys get an email. We make sure you’re kept up to date on your case— it’s your case, your child with special needs, and you’re part of the team.

If You Have Children With Special Needs Considerations and Are Planning to Divorce, Reach Out to a Hackensack Lawyer

It may not seem like it now, but better days are ahead— even if it may always be trying. Children with special needs bring their own special joy to a family, even in the most difficult of days. Reach out if you need to— and together, we’ll Move Forward.

Reading this and need help? Call, fill out the intake form, or email a dedicated Family Law paralegal to speak with a Hackensack divorce with children with special needs considerations lawyer at O’Cathain Law Group.