Negotiating a divorce agreement is never easy, regardless of how amicable the separation. Not many people can manage to keep their emotions out of it, especially in matters regarding children. Negotiations related to the best interests of special needs children may present a number of additional hurdles. It is not uncommon for divorcing couples in these circumstances to choose divorce mediation.
In this excellent article Dr. Lynne C. Halem writes that parents of special needs children may find comfort in knowing that the process of divorce mediation provides a platform for cooperation, aiming to achieve mutual agreements that will protect the interests of the child. Parents with special needs children who elect to mediate their divorce, or at the least their parenting plans and custodial arrangements, produce agreements that best serve their children.
Some of the questions that can be addressed in mediation include:
Where will the child reside?
How is child support calculated for parents with special needs children?
Are any of these costs borne by the state, or will they be in the future?
What kind of custodial arrangements are made in the event of the death of either parent?
How will information about the child’s IEP and other evaluative reports be shared?
How do parents determine services to be used for the child?
How is the daily schedule structured?