Divorce and the Special Needs Child
Release Date:15 Jul 2010
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Divorce and the Special Needs Child

A Guide for Parents

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Going through a divorce is always tough, but when a child with special needs is involved it can be especially challenging. This book takes a clear and comprehensive look at every aspect of the legal divorce process, and addresses all of the legal issues that divorcing parents of children with special needs face.

The author guides parents through the initial hurdles of choosing the right lawyer for their case, and explains exactly how to work with them to achieve the best possible outcome for all concerned. From agreeing upon child custody arrangements that meet the particular needs of the child, to making provision for child support payments, gathering together the documentation needed to prove a case, and dealing with financial issues such as debts and property distribution, no aspect of divorce is left uncovered. A set of checklists is included to ensure that parents consider everything they need to, and the book concludes with a useful list of further resources.

Written by an experienced family lawyer who went through her own divorce when her son, who has autism, was six, this book offers much-needed guidance to divorcing parents of children with a variety of special needs.

Margaret "Pegi" Price's Divorce and the Special Needs Child is an essential guide to what are still basically uncharted legal waters; it should be required reading for divorcing parents of disabled or special needs children, their legal team, and any counselors and care providers associated with the family... Her compassionate, wise, and practical book is filled with information that leaves no aspect of the divorce process uncovered, and offers a glimpse at what one's life, post-divorce, might look like. Checklists, samples of legal documents, an ample bibliography, a chapter listing national and state resources, and a glossary of often-used legal and medical terms complete this highly valuable guidebook.

– ForeWord Reviews

Margaret "Pegi" Price's book for parents takes on the challenge of merging general concepts of divorce law with the particular needs of a divorcing parent of a child with special needs... the book provides a wealth of information and checlists for a parent about to go through one of life's most difficult events.

– Steven P. Kuhn, Esq. - AHA Newsletter

Margaret "Pegi" Price is a family lawyer who specializes in divorces involving special needs children. She is a past Chair of the Family Law Section of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and a member of AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts) and the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). She is also the author of The Special Needs Child and Divorce, published by the American Bar Association. She resides in St.Louis, Missouri.
Note. Disclaimer. About the Author. Preface. 1. Your Child's Special Needs. I. Types of Special Needs. II. Why Does this Matter in Divorce Court? III. Impact of Divorce on Special Needs Children. 2. How to Hire a Good Divorce Lawyer for Your Special Needs Case. I. Choosing Your Divorce Lawyer. II. Finding Good Candidates. III. The Interview. IV. The Lawyer's Approach and Personality. V. The Lawyer's Credentials. VI. Expectations. VII. Office Procedures and Practices. 3. How Does a Case Go through Divorce Court? I. Overview of Family Courts. II. The First Documents Filed with the Court. III. Additional Documents Filed with the Court. IV. Temporary Orders and Other Motions. V. Orders of Protection. VI. Court Meetings or Conferences. VII. Discovery. VIII. What You Need to Know before the First Court Date. IX. Settlement or Trial. 4. What Is Different about Your Case? I. Child Custody and Visitation. II. Child Support. III. Alimony (Maintenance or Spousal Support). IV. Property Distribution & Retirement Accounts. V. Guardian Ad Litem. VI. Expert Witnesses. VII. Proving Your Case to the Court. VII. Parenting Plan. IX. Settlement Agreement. X. Judgement. 5. Child Custody & Visitation. I. Primary Caregiver Parent. II. Parent Training. III. Logistical Considerations. I. Parental Denial. II. Lack of Cooperation/Medical or Educational Neglect. III. Child's Schedule. IV. Environmental Modifications. V. What Does Physical Custody Mean? VI. What Does Legal Custody Mean? 6. Child Support. I. Current Expenses. II. Therapy, Equipment & Medications. III. Supplements, Dietary Costs and Sensory Items. IV. Respite Care. V. Professionals. VI. Home Modifications. VII. Future Changes in the Child's Condition or Needs. 7. Alimony (Maintenance or Spousal Support). I. Primary Caregiver's Job Future. II. Primary Caregiver's Future Retirement Savings. III. How the Noncustodial Parent Can Help. 8. Property Distribution & Retirement Accounts. I. How do we Split up the House and Other Property? II. What Should We Do about the Debts? III. How Do We Handle the Retirement Accounts? 9. How You Can Help Your Lawyer Get the Best Result. I. Reasonable Expectations. II. Be Cooperative, Not Confrontational. III. Collect Medical and Educational Documents. IV. Help Educate Your Lawyer On Your Child's Special Needs. V. Get Evaluations and Reports. VI. Guardian Ad Litem. VII. Expert Witnesses. VIII. Translate the Jargon for Your Lawyer. 10. Tying up Loose Ends. I. Share Information. II. Sign Releases and Authorizations. III. Papers to Sign. IV. Car Titles, Mortgages & Quit Claim Deeds. V. Bank and Financial Accounts. VI. Employers and Insurance. VII. Retirement Accounts. VIII. Schools, Day Care, Therapists & Doctors. 11. Life after Divorce. I. Your New Reality. II. Two Households and Visitation. III. Less Money, More Expenses. IV. Future Relationships. V. Protecting Your Child. 12. What to Do When Things Change in the Future. I. When Can the Court Help Me in the Future? II. What Should I Do Then? 13. Resources. 14. Bibliography. 15. Checklists. References. Sample Documents. Glossary. Index.
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