Berman & Asbel, LLP

Special needs could affect Pennsylvania child support

As many Pennsylvania residents know, April is National Autism Awareness Month. As a result, many different issues concerning autism and children with autism are often the focus. In some cases, the focus may even be on divorce and child support when an autistic child is involved in the separation proceedings. Because children with autism have special needs, child support could differ from other cases.

Child support can often be a difficult issue to work out during a divorce, and when a child has autism, the situation can become a bit more complicated. Autistic children often have more expenses that should be addressed, such as therapy and special supplies, and accounting for those expenses during divorce is important for the sake of the child. Considering the long-term needs of the child may be necessary as well.

Some parents may wish to set up a special trust for their child during divorce proceedings that could help pay for needs well into adulthood. This trust would likely need to be addressed during child support negotiations. Setting up such a trust could help avoid financial issues in the future if an unexpected situation associated with the child's needs comes about.

Child support for special needs children may be difficult for divorcing parents to fully understand. Therefore, information on Pennsylvania laws concerning child support and special trusts could help parents follow the best avenue for their situation. Providing for the current and future needs of a child with autism is a great concern of parents, and planning correctly can make a considerable difference in easing the stress of the situation.

Source: The Huffington Post, "When Parents of a Child With Autism Divorce: Separating Myth From Reality", Bari Zell Weinberger, April 4, 2014

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