The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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Considerations When Creating a Parenting Plan for a Special Needs Child

 Posted on October 21,2020 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Aurora divorce attorney parenting plan

Most of the time, the biggest worry that couples have when they are getting a divorce is how it will affect their children. For the most part, children are fairly resilient and will eventually bounce back from the stress and transition of the divorce. Children with special needs may not be as resilient, however, and may need special considerations of their own. Before you are able to finalize your divorce, you are required to file a parenting plan with the court that outlines your parenting time schedule and how you have allocated your significant decision-making responsibilities. If you and your spouse are the parents of a child with special needs, there are certain things that you should keep in mind to ensure your child gets what he or she needs.

Things to Keep in Mind for Your Parenting Plan

When you get a divorce and a child with special needs is involved, the process is inherently going to be more complex.

  • Consistency can really help. For some children, consistency between households is extremely important. The term “special needs” can encompass a variety of conditions, from more severe conditions that limit the child’s physical and mental abilities to other conditions such as autism, anxiety disorders, and ADHD. For most children with special needs, but especially for those with autism, ADHD, and other disorders, maintaining a certain level of consistency between households can help the child adapt to significant changes in their lives.

  • Recognize that there will be a transition period. Children without special needs can typically develop coping skills and eventually seem relatively unaffected by their parents’ divorce fairly quickly. Children with special needs, however, can take quite a bit longer to adapt to the changes in their lives. Be patient with your child and realize that they will adapt at their own pace.

  • Determine how important decisions about your child will be made. When creating a parenting plan for a child with special needs, decision-making responsibilities are of the utmost importance. It is often the case that important decisions will need to be made about children with special needs more frequently than children without special needs. You and your spouse should try to agree on a certain method for how these decisions should be made and how much decision-making power each of you has on your own.

Contact a North Aurora Divorce Attorney Today

If you are a parent of a child with special needs, you likely already know that the divorce process is going to be more complex than typical. Children with special needs often need further considerations for parenting time, visitation, child support, medical expenses, and other issues. Our knowledgeable Kane County parenting plan lawyer can help you put together a parenting plan that addresses visitation and any other specifics you may need. Contact the Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. at 630-409-8184 to schedule a consultation.


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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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