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Divorce with special needs children

Dallas Lawyers Helping People With Special Needs Children Navigate Divorces

Raising children as a married couple can be stressful under typical circumstances. When a married couple has a child with special needs, they often face additional stressors, and their conflicts are frequently exacerbated. Many parents of special needs children are unable to reconcile their differences and ultimately decide to end their marriage. Divorce with special needs children can be complicated, though, and it is critical that any parents of children with disabilities who are contemplating legally severing their relationship understand the unique issues that may arise in their case. If you would like to learn more about divorce with special needs children, it is advisable to talk to a lawyer at your earliest convenience. The skilled Dallas divorce lawyers of McClure Law Group can evaluate your case and aid you in determining the best measures to take to protect your interest and the well-being of your child.

Custody in Divorces With Special Needs Children

Pursuant to the Texas Family Code (the Code), the Texas courts prioritize the best interests of the child in child custody cases, with the goal of ensuring access to necessary care and stability. According to Texas law, the child's physical, emotional, and social needs are paramount. Custody arrangements must be customized to meet the child's specific needs, taking into account their daily routine, medical and therapeutic requirements, and the suitability of each parent's home environment.

Custody cases involving special needs children are particularly complex as they may have physical, mental, emotional, or developmental disabilities that necessitate additional support. For example, they may need specialized medical care, consistent routines, or special learning environments. The courts will take the child’s unique needs into consideration when determining what division of conservatorship and access will be best for the child.

Spousal Maintenance and Child Support in Divorces With Special Needs Children

The Code also permits the Texas courts to take a child’s disability into consideration when determining child support and spousal maintenance obligations in divorces with special needs children. For example, while the Code sets forth child support guidelines that establish what is considered appropriate support based on the parents’ collective income and the number of children being supported, it also allows for a departure from the guidelines when it is warranted to further the child’s interests. As such, the courts may adjust child support for special needs children by exceeding the standard guidelines due to the additional costs associated with medical care, therapy, and specialized education.

Additionally, while child support obligations typically end when the child graduates from high school or turns eighteen, whichever occurs later, the Code states child support may continue indefinitely in cases in which a child has a disability. Notably, a child will be considered disabled as defined by the Code if they have a mental or physical condition that prevents them from being financially independent and causes them to require personal supervision and substantial care. Only disabilities present before a child’s eighteenth birthday qualify for extended support.

The Code also dictates that the courts may order a party to pay spousal maintenance to the other spouse if the spouse seeking maintenance will not have sufficient property to meet their reasonable needs and they are the custodian of a child of the marriage who has a physical or mental disability and requires significant care, which prevents the spouse from earning enough income to be self-sufficient.

Consult a Capable Dallas Divorce Attorney

Parents raising children with disabilities often have to plan for their care well after the child reaches the age of adulthood, which can be complicated if they decide to end their marriage. If you have questions about your options with regard to divorce with special needs children, it is wise to consult an attorney. The capable Dallas divorce attorneys of McClure Law Group have ample experience navigating challenging divorce actions, and if we represent you, we will work tirelessly to help you pursue the best legal result possible under the facts of your case. Our primary office is located in Dallas. We also can meet clients by appointment at our Collin-County office, which is located in Plano. We regularly represent parents of special needs children in divorce actions in Dallas, Garland, Rockwall, Fort Worth, Irving, Richardson, Frisco, and McKinney. We also aid people in the resolution of family law issues in cities in Dallas, Denton, Rockwall, Collin, Tarrant, and Grayson. You can reach us by calling 214.692.8200 or by using our online form to set up a conference.

Client Reviews
"McClure Law Group was very professional and responsive. They listened to my concerns and desires as it pertains to the service requested and I'm very pleased." Jade Nguyen
"Kelly and her team are always a pleasure to work with, and their work product always exceeds one’s expectations." George Tamke
"When I most needed professional, good quality responses McClure Law Group was there. Thank you for the service that I have received from everyone!" Norma Charles
"McClure Law Group’s team is very responsive! I have very much appreciated their communication. They are always on top of what is happening and return my calls or emails quickly." Brie Cherry
"Kelly McClure has been representing me for the past several years and has been an amazing advocate, confidant and sounding board. She is always available by phone, even when she is on vacation. She has answered my questions on weekends and always given me an honest opinion. I highly recommend this group to anyone." Heather Bell
"The McClure Law Group helped me through a very difficult divorce and they definitely had my back every step of the way. I couldn’t recommend the team enough!" Shell A.
"I could not be happier to have had McClure Law. I truly appreciate their accessibility and patience. I can tell they are very knowledgeable, and I trust their guidance. I am SO thankful I went with great lawyers to handle my family case." Victor Lollar
"Kelly is detailed oriented and she truly cares about her clients. Her knowledge of the laws and her ability to get a case resolved make her stand far above others. I highly recommend McClure for your family law needs!" Peter Morgan