Arkansas parents with a special needs child are often under an immense amount of stress. While divorce is hard for every family, divorce comes with a unique set of challenges when you have a special needs child. As you move through the divorce process, some things might look different.
Ensuring the child’s needs are met
Children with special needs – such as autism, a chronic illness or a disability – need more support than other children their age. For some children, it’s possible they’ll go their entire lives needing a high level of support.
That’s what makes divorce tricky. It can be hard to make sure certain needs are met. For example, if your family home has undergone renovations to be more accessible for your child, are you willing to do that for a second home?
There are also concerns about finances, health insurance and other factors that can be impacted by divorce. It’s safe to assume though that these issues can be worked out as long as both parents are willing to work together.
Developing a parenting plan that works
It’s even more important to have a cohesive parenting plan to fall back on when you have a special needs child. This parenting plan should give your child stability, even if things seem uncertain.
It’s also important to plan how you’re going to tell your child about the divorce. Springing changes on them might cause a lot of emotional distress, which can impact their health. To avoid this, parents might slowly introduce changes and the concept of divorce over a longer period of time. It’s important not to lie to your children but to introduce it in a way that reduces anxiety.
Regardless of your own feelings about the divorce or about your ex-spouse, you should try to focus on the positives. Even if it hurts, you made the decision in the best interest of you and your child. When you’re out of a stressful marriage, your environment will be more relaxed, and you’ll have more energy to be the best parent you can be to your child.