As a parent of children with special needs, I know the hardships, emotionally and financially that go hand in hand with raising your special child. Often caregiver parents are not recognized for the value they bring to the child and frankly the dollar value of the work they perform in lieu of paying an outside provider. This should be taken into account when considering all aspects of divorce, spousal support (alimony or maintenance as it is referred to in Colorado), child support or custody arrangements.
Just because your child has reached the age of majority, does not mean that the emotional and necessary financial support stops at the same time. Child support can be continued beyond age 19 if the child, who is now an adult cannot and is not emancipated because of his or her disabilities. It is important to ensure your child receives the financial support he or she is entitled to as a minor child and as an adult child with disabilities. Important questions parents often ask:
“If my child receives child support, will this make him/her become ineligible for SSI and Medicaid?”
“Is my adult child with disabilities entitled to child support, even if I do not have guardianship of him/her?”
“If I die, will my child’s other biological parent have access to his/her SSI and will my child have to be under their care?”
“We have done a decent job of accumulating assets, now we are divorcing and I am afraid my adult child will not have enough when I am gone. What can we do to make sure he/she is considered financially in this divorce?”
These are but a few of the complex issues that arise when working with families of special needs children. Your life is complicated. It is important to work with an attorney that understands these issues, the concepts and the laws as it relates to your unique and special circumstances.