Rodney Jensen and Madeline Jensen

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Caring for special needs kids after a divorce

On Behalf of | May 1, 2023 | Divorce, Family Law

Although you can’t cite your kids as the reason why your marriage ended, the stress of having children may cause issues in your relationship that are difficult to fix. Despite this, Minnesota law will likely award joint custody to you and your former partner. At a minimum, your former partner will likely be allowed to contact or spend time with your child. Therefore, you’ll likely need to figure out a way to work with this person for the sake of your kids.

When your children have special needs

Whether your children have physical or mental issues, they will need you in their lives regardless of how you feel about the other parent. A parenting plan may need to be structured so that your child can stay in one household for most of the time, or the plan may need to state that your child can remain close to a medical facility. Furthermore, you may need to be prepared to handle medical emergencies or other issues that might cut into your parenting time.

Take care of yourself

It can be stressful trying to care for a child who may not be able to get dressed, eat or perform other routine tasks without assistance. It may be especially stressful to care for a special needs child during a divorce. Taking time to engage in self-care may help you keep a level head during a chaotic period, which can be positive for yourself and your child. Generally speaking, losing your temper in front of your kid or elsewhere may impact your ability to retain custody of that minor. It may also create more animosity between yourself and your spouse or between yourself and your child, which may further add to your stress.

Any parenting plan that is approved by a judge will need to preserve the best interest of your child. Ultimately, you may have to accept a plan that denies you sole custody of your son or daughter or that may otherwise prevent you from having as much parenting time as you would like.