Moorestown Divorce Lawyers Handle Unique Issues Related to Divorce and Special Needs Children in New Jersey
Divorcing couples face many financial issues upon the dissolution of their marriage, ranging from alimony and child support, to child custody and visitation issues. For parents of special needs children, unique financial concerns may also exist with respect to their children’s individualized educational needs, medical treatment and therapy. To financially prepare for the additional expenses associated with a child with special needs, the creation of a special needs trust following a divorce is often the best course of action. A special needs trust can ensure that the financial needs of your special needs child are provided for after your death.
Unique Financial Concerns
Some of the common financial obligations that may face divorcing couples who have a special needs child include:
Special needs children, including those children with autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities or Down’s syndrome, often have specific educational needs that may generate additional expenses including specialized classes, assistive technology, ongoing educational evaluations and tutors.
The medical needs of special needs children include the costs of physician and specialist visits, laboratory testing, medications and home health care. Other special needs children have complicated medical conditions that require specialized adaptive equipment including wheelchairs, adaptive devices, specialized cars and prosthetics.
Occupational therapy and physical therapy are some of the most common types of services that special needs children receive. The costs associated with therapeutic programs can be very high as many therapies (particularly some innovative therapies associated with the treatment of autism spectrum disorders) are not covered under several traditional health insurance policies.
Special Needs Considerations
Special needs trusts can be drafted to set forth more than just financial obligations. Parents of special needs children must make critical decisions regarding the education and medical treatment of their child. A special needs trust can set forth which parent will be responsible for these decisions.
Guardianship is another consideration that can be addressed in a special needs trust. While a child is usually “emancipated” from their parents at the age of majority, this is not the case for many special needs children who are unable to care for themselves. If a special needs child will require a lifelong guardian, divorcing parents can address which parent, if not both, will become the child’s guardian when the child turns 18.
At The Hartman Group our dedicated Moorestown divorce lawyers can help you decide which type of special needs trust would meet your family’s unique needs. Whether it is a third party trust (which is created using the parents’ assets and distributed by a will or living trust) or a self-settled trust (which uses the child’s assets to fund the trust), our attorneys can properly set up this important part of the divorcing couples’ estate planning.
Moorestown Divorce Lawyers at the Hartman Group Draft Enforceable Special Needs Trusts
The creation of a valid special needs trust involves complicated state and federal laws. To ensure that your special needs trust will be legally enforceable, your first step should be to consult with an experienced Moorestown divorce lawyer. The family lawyers at the Hartman Group, have successfully handled hundreds of special needs trusts and can do the same for your family.
With offices conveniently located in Moorestown, New Jersey our divorce lawyers serve clients throughout New Jersey including those in Cherry Hill, Haddonfield, Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, Cumberland County, Cape May County, Salem County and Atlantic County.