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Divorce and the Disabled Child – Common Mistakes

Divorce and the Disabled Child – Common Mistakes

Divorce is hard on everyone, especially children. If your child is permanently disabled, however, there are special concerns that you need to take into consideration. In fact, there are several common divorce mistakes that can negatively affect your child's future that you should assiduously avoid. If your child is disabled, help protect his or her future by working closely with an experienced family law attorney throughout the divorce process.

Failing to Include a Finding of Disability in the Final Divorce Decree

If your child is disabled, you will likely need to receive child support and medical assistance from your ex far beyond your shared child’s high school years. Including a doctor’s determination of disability in your Final Decree of Divorce can help you avoid future litigation if your spouse later decides that he or she does not want to continue paying support.

Failing to Consider Indefinite Child Support

The State of Texas allows for indefinite child support in specific situations that include:

  • The child will require substantial care and supervision due to a mental or physical disability indefinitely

  • The child acquired the disability before the age of 18

  • The child will not be able to care for himself or herself as an adult

The law addresses the issue with indefinite child support to help ensure that such children receive continued care. Directly addressing the issue in your divorce reduces the chance that you will need to litigate the matter in the future.

Not Taking the Child’s Income into Careful Consideration

If your child is disabled, he or she likely receives governmental benefits, including Medicaid. If, however, in the course of your divorce, you designate some portion of your marital property to be rolled into an account for your child, it will qualify as income for him or her. This income can lead to a loss of benefits and may even lead to a request for reimbursement.

Not Working with an Experienced Family Law Attorney

Every divorce is complicated, and it is always in your best interest to work closely with an experienced attorney. If you have a child with disabilities, however, the situation is that much more complicated, and it is imperative that you obtain professional legal guidance. Your child’s ongoing well-being, health, and happiness are likely to depend upon it, and you want the peace of mind that comes from knowing you took the steps necessary to help protect your child’s rights and continued support.

If You Have Child Support Concerns, a Skilled Killeen Divorce Attorney Can Help

If you are facing a divorce that involves a disabled child, there are important steps you can take now to help you protect him or her into the future. Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a formidable family law attorney who is committed to helping you obtain a divorce that prioritizes your child’s special needs. We are on your side, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.
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