As the father of a child on the autism spectrum, the topic of financial planning for individuals with disabilities or special needs hits close to home. My son, David, is high functioning and is continually impressing everyone with his independence, philanthropic efforts and ability to captivate a room at public speaking engagements.Nevertheless, my wife and I understand that we will always need to remain heavily involved in his financial life; both on a daily basis and planning for the future.
Unfortunately for couples considering a divorce, financial planning for a child with a disability or special needs is not always a team effort. However, through the collaborative divorce process, it can be! By consulting a team of experts, which could include a special needs financial planner, a collaborative and/or special needs attorney and a family specialist with special needs experience, divorcing couples can resolve care issues without contentious legal battles.
During a divorce, it is easy to get caught up in a number of different things, but in my opinion, children should come first. Children with disabilities or special needs have specific demands that need to be met now and in the future. Putting differences aside to address those needs is crucial. You don’t need to be on the same team to make a team effort, it’s just important that an effort is made in planning for your children's financial future.
Written by Aaron Lieberman, CFP.