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Why Divorce with Special Needs Children is Different


As the single mother of three special needs children, I know first hand how different day to day life can be. In the early years, educating others about my children's needs seemed like a full-time job.  We got the looks when a child had a meltdown over the way the socks at the trampoline park touched his feet.   Within our family system, we learned how to navigate, but the world of divorce required that we educate mediators, attorneys and other involved parties as well.  Why did socks, bedtimes, meals, etc. have so much importance? As the parents of special needs children, we learn to predict our children's needs and avoid potential triggers, but how do you translate that into a plan that both parents agree on?  While divorce is already a challenging life event, it can be complicated even further by trying to plan short term and long term for the needs of children whose daily routines have many more moving pieces.   At TAC, we developed a special parenting plan that allows parents to think through all of the various scenarios involved in sharing responsibility for the ongoing growth and development of a special needs child.  Asthma, autism, down-syndrome, addiction, and more, our team provides tools that can reduce conflict, improve co-parenting, and help keep families out of court. More importantly, we empathize as parents who have been through it too!


Author: Colleen Contreras, Owner/Founding Member of Tooher and Contreras Law, PLLC

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