Raising a child with special needs can be tough on a marriage. As a result, the divorce rate of parents of special needs children is higher than the national divorce rate of 50% of all couples. A divorce between a couple with a special needs child involves several issues that may not come into play in a typical divorce. New Jersey Special Needs lawyer, Richard C. Klein, is well-versed in the many issues that arise in these cases and has represented many parents of children with special needs, such as those with autism spectrum disorders.
New Jersey Special Needs Lawyers Fight for the Proper Child Support Award
When a couple with a special needs child divorces and child support issues are determined, consideration of the financial, medical and therapy needs of this child is even more crucial than those of their other children. Since a special needs child, such as a child with autism, often has more expenses than a child without special needs, New Jersey child support guidelines do not adequately address those needs. Therefore, your New Jersey Special Needs attorney must be prepared to present a case that demonstrates why the court should deviate from the guidelines.
New Jersey child support guidelines do not take into account the many extraordinary expenses associated with providing care and quality of life for a special needs child, including therapy (speech, occupational and physical), special education, home health care, medications, specialized cars and a wide-range of assistive devices. A support award that routinely applies the child support guidelines to a special needs situation would not sufficiently cover the actual costs of raising a special needs child. This is when you need a New Jersey Special Needs lawyer who will fight against strict adherence to the Guidelines.
As a New Jersey Special Needs attorney regularly handling divorce cases involving developmentally disabled and autistic children, family law attorney, Richard C. Klein, Esq. has successfully argued in many New Jersey courtrooms that the special circumstances of children with special needs requires that the Court deviate from guidelines and increase the child support award. Based in Cherry Hill, Camden County, New Jersey, Richard Klein is compassionate and caring, yet aggressive when it comes to getting you the child support you need to properly care for your special needs child. And once you receive a just child support award, he can design the necessary Special Needs Trusts to protect your child’s right to government benefits.
New Jersey Special Need Lawyers Understand the Other Considerations: Education, Guardianship & Emancipation
Divorcing parents of a special needs child need to decide who is responsible to make educational decisions for the child. Also, if the child will require a lifetime guardian, the parents must consider which parent, if not both, will become guardian once the child turns 18 years of age and is not able to be emancipated.
Generally, “emancipation” usually occurs once a child reaches the age of majority, graduates from high school, or graduates from college; however, this is not simply a date that passes, but rather, an event in the eyes of the law. The key concern is that emancipation occurs when a child moves beyond the “sphere of influence” of a parent and achieves an independent status on his or her own.
Most special needs children may never move beyond their parents’ “sphere of influence.” If the special needs child is incapable of maintaining himself due to his illness or disorder then the Court will not declare the child emancipated. A parent may be required to support a special needs child even though he’s reached the age of majority. In many cases, a child with special needs may never be declared emancipated and child support could continue indefinitely.
Considering Divorce: Consult with the Cherry Hill Divorce Lawyer at the Law Firm of Richard C. Klein, LLC
Divorce is an emotionally difficult time for parents and having a child with special needs adds to the uncertainty and worry. If you are a divorcing parent of an autistic or developmentally disabled child, you will need to retain an attorney well-versed in public benefits planning and establishing Special Needs Trusts who can help you take full advantage of the governmental benefits owed to your child. The New Jersey Special Needs Trust attorneys of the Law Firm of Richard C. Klein, Esq. have the experience, dedication and compassion to help you work through your divorce and protect the best interests of your special needs child. Our New Jersey Special Needs lawyers practice throughout the State and are well-respected in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County,Monmouth County, Salem County and Somerset County divorce courts. Call New Jersey Special Needs attorney, Richard C. Klein, Esq., today at 856-544-9155 or contact him online to discuss your divorce and how to protect the rights of your special needs child.
Read more from New Jersey Special Needs lawyer, Richard C. Klein on “The Effect of Special Needs Children and Autism on Divorce“.