Your Pittsburgh divorce attorneys bring you 5 tips to consider if you are facing a divorce and have a child with special needs:
In any Pennsylvania divorce that involves children it is hard to make sure the child is adapting properly to the situation. Children with special needs require even more attention to ensure that they are adapting in a proper way. Here are 5 tips that can help special needs children cope with a divorce.
1. Make sure the child knows that the divorce is not their fault. Although many believe that parents with special needs children are more likely to divorce, recent studies have shown that this belief is inaccurate. The problems are more likely to arise because of lack of support or resources for the couple than the needs of the child. It is crucial that the parents do not blame the child for the divorce.
2. Children in general are sensitive to their parents’ emotions, children with special needs are often hyper-sensitive to these emotions. If the child seems to be more withdrawn, anxious, or are acting up more, be mindful that it could be the result of the anxiety that you are going through. Try to express emotions about the divorce outside of the child’s presence. Providing a calm environment for the child is the best way to minimize acting out from the child.
3. Attempt to keep things as stable as possible for the child. Stability does not necessarily mean in their home environment but instead stability for the child comes in having their needs that they have had prior to the divorce proceeding met. Those needs must be a priority to the parents. While the Pennsylvania parents’ lives are changing drastically the child continues to need the care, attention, and resources he has always needed. Cooperating and planning out a schedule with the other parent is likely the best way to ensure that the child’s needs are always met and that his environment is a stable one.
4. All divorce proceedings provide a new family structure for the children involved, for special needs kids it is best that the new family structure is introduced slowly. Special needs children tend to have trouble with transitions and new surroundings; therefore, it is ideal to have the child accustomed to the situation prior to the finalization of the divorce. It is best to change routines, living situations, and caregiver responsibilities as gradually as possible.
5. If you are planning on introducing your child to your new significant other make sure that the transition is planned out carefully. As stated in number four children with special needs take time to adapt to new things and people. It is wise to not introduce the child to your new significant other until you are sure that he or she will be around for a long time. Your child is already coping with the divorce it is best to not have them also coping with your breakup.
If you or someone you know is going through a PA divorce that involves children, contact our Pittsburgh divorce attorneys at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. Our attorneys are skilled in divorce proceedings and will not only have your best interest but also your child’s best interest in mind.