Divorce Tips for Parents of Children with Autism


Parents of children with autism face unique challenges when they are going through a Pasadena divorce. Any settlement must take into account the child's special needs as well as plans that must be made to prepare for his future.

As the parent of a special needs child, you may want to consider setting up a special needs trust to provide for your child’s future support. A trust can make sure that a child’s future education, health, food, shelter, and general living expenses will be provided for as long as necessary. Setting up a special needs trust can also help many children become eligible for additional aid-based programs.

Your attorney can help you set up a special needs trust at the time of your divorce. Both you and your ex should make the trust the beneficiary of your 401K and life insurance policies.

You may also want to consider enlisting a family therapist to help develop a post-divorce parenting plan. Visiting a therapist together can also help encourage your child to talk about his feelings regarding the divorce and reassure him that the divorce is not his fault.

Consistency in schedules between mom and dad’s house, as well as regular contact with both parents to help alleviate separation anxiety, can help autistic children cope more easily with a divorce. Provide your child with as much information as possible regarding custody and visitation plans, so he will know what to expect at any given time. Even something as simple as knowing that dinner is followed by playing outside, taking a bath, and reading a bedtime story no matter which parent he is staying with can help put a child’s mind at ease.

Finally, you must remember that emotional outbursts can be difficult for an autistic child to comprehend. Working to minimize conflict with your ex will help make moving forward with your post-divorce life easier for both you and your child.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal representation during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at info@PasadenaLawOffice.com. Our Pasadena divorce attorneys can help ensure that you receive a settlement that protects the needs of both you and your child.