Divorcing and Have a Baby with Particular Wants? Extra Assistance is Accessible

Divorce is difficult for all families. Nobody gets married because they think they are going to be divorced, and nobody imagines that their baby will have serious special needs. If you combine the two you will end up in a challenging and potentially volatile situation. The American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities states that 80% of couples who have a child with special needs divorce (by the time the child is 21 years old). Tensions are high and expectations are full of disappointments.

Build a team to help

Vesta Divorce has become a resource in the US, with local hubs made up of screened professionals who understand the needs of families before, during and after the divorce. Vesta offers free concierge services and divorce assistance events to help manage the complexities of divorce. Legal, emotional, and financial resources are available for any divorce situation.

Our Westchester, NY hub is in its early stages and has an amazing team including certified divorce trainer Dr. Susan Korb Bernstein, a specialist helping families divorced and having a child with special needs.

Certified divorce coach Susan Bernstein has personal experience with a 16 year old daughter with special needs and her divorce. Susan is also trained in conflict divorce. Susan has a PhD in education and experience as an educational advisor, school teacher, administrator, and college professor prior to working in the divorce arena. She is uniquely qualified to help people through many facets of divorce while parenting a special needs child. Their personal experiences and knowledge base make all the difference to parents who hire them to help them with the divorce. She speaks on various forums nationally to raise awareness of additional considerations on children with disabilities when divorce comes into play. She always gives free advice to point someone in the right direction. Please visit their website www.divorcecoachplus.com for more information.

Susan’s hands-on experience led her to develop a successful strategy to coordinate all resources to keep costs down and stress to a minimum in the long term. She works nationally to build a local team of experts for her clients who really understand the reality of divorce with a child with special needs. It is important that the family law attorney work with a special needs attorney and coordinate with a financial planner with expertise in the field to address the following key issues:

Divorce and custody / parental leave with children with special needs

In amicable divorces, parents often share custody. Still, a parent with special needs in the past often stays home to look after the child, doing the significant unpaid work of caring, while the other parent earns an income and takes on paid financial responsibility. When divorce and, with it, joint parental leave comes into play, the income-generating parent must now also be a part-time caregiver, and the caregiver must now find a way to generate income after being unemployed for possibly many years.

It is important to ensure that the special needs child and the well-being of the sibling are top priorities. This will be remedied by looking at the long term plan and making sure that all the details outlining care and responsibility are included in the divorce contract. We always want to avoid families going back to court. These considerations must be set out in the divorce settlement and planning for their senior years as well.

Parents of children with severe disabilities face lifelong responsibility for bringing up and caring for them together. When parents are not on the same page, shared decision-making on health and education issues can make parenthood nearly impossible without a detailed plan. Additionally, the added pressure of recommendations related to medical and educational needs is essential for clarification. Guardianship can and should be regulated in the divorce settlement about caring for the child as a dependent adult.

Divorce Finances and Children with Special Needs

The significant financial burdens on children with special needs such as doctors, therapies, medication, and private schools often cause marital chaos.

Standard formulas for child support do not take into account the additional expenses with special needs that can be lifelong responsibility. As a rule, a parent’s financial obligations end when the child is 18 or 21 years old (depending on the country). Parents with Special Needs Children must continue to support children who are severely disabled and unable to live alone until either the parent or child dies and can live independently.

In these complex divorce situations, it is important to consider the specific issues that arise in the transition of the child into adulthood, such as eligibility for government assistance such as SSI and Medicaid.

Certified divorce trainers with this specialist niche such as Dr. Susan Korb Amber are a useful resource for families with children with special needs. Dr. Bernstein brings families together with legal and financial experts who show them how to structure their funds into trusts so as not to risk disqualification for charitable programs. They also educate parents on how to establish ways to pay caregivers or other resources to maintain the quality of life of their child with special needs after the parent dies. It is not that easy to let kids get money out of life insurance. In some states, if a person with special needs has net worth as little as $ 1000, they may be excluded from receiving important state benefits. This can be a significant problem as it can also lose eligibility for critical services such as assisted employment and rehabilitation services, group accommodation, transportation assistance, and personal care.

There is help and hope for those going through the divorce process with these particular considerations. Susan is one of the vetted professionals at Vesta Divorce who works with clients both domestically and internationally to make divorces smoother for the whole family.

To contact Susan Bernstein EdD, CDC

Divorce Trainer Plus

Tel: 551-444-2609 Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. JavaScript must be activated so that it can be displayed.

Susan is a trainer who trains and is in the ditch with her clients. She also trains other coaches. No problem is too big or too small to overcome. She personally had a divorce that was so terrible she made three national television shows about it, and she wished she had someone besides her great lawyer to help with it. Susan knows that it takes a team and she helps her clients with the emotional part of moving forward, achieving their goals and overcoming any obstacles along the way! Susan helps them be their best selves and stay noble so their children can thrive during and after this stressful time. Susan really made lemonade out of lemons and her goal is to give back every day and make positive changes in the lives of others!

Click here to learn more about Susan.

As published in Vesta Divorce

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