Will My Divorce Affect my Special Needs Child’s Public Benefits?
Children with special needs are entitled to specific public government
aid and resources, such as medical care, SSI and state-decided additional
benefits. Unfortunately, if parents are facing divorce, those resources
can be in jeopardy.
Child custody and
child support must be given diligent attention with regard to how funds are distributed,
so as to not reduce the aid awarded for your child. Our knowledgeable
divorce attorney at R. Gregory Colvin, LLC can help you set up your child
support and child custody plan in a way that will not jeopardize the help
you get for your special needs child.
Considerations and Concerns
Quite often in divorce, attorneys will work to get the most child support
possible from a non-custodial parent. This is not always the best choice
when the child has special needs. SSI payments take into account “unearned
income,” such as child support or alimony received by the custodial
parent. In simple terms, 2/3 of the awarded child support amount will
determine the amount of SSI your child will receive. Therefore, the higher
the child support payment is, the less they will receive from SSI and,
unfortunately, their eligibility for Medicaid benefits may also be jeopardized.
It is in your best interest, and that of your child, to discuss all options
with a qualified divorce attorney from our firm. We know the laws and
benefit calculations and can help you to make informed decisions for your
One way to combat any reduction in aid is to create a
Special Needs Trust that is drafted in a way that the funds are not considered “available
income,” thus not affecting their public benefits. This trust allows
the beneficiary to receive gifts, settlements and other funds but still
be eligible for government aid programs. The funds deposited in the trust
can pay for education, counseling, medical care, or even recreational
activities. Typically, the trust helps cover things that are not considered
life-necessities. Our team can help you decide if a Special Needs Trust
will be necessary for your divorce circumstances.
Orlando Divorce Lawyer: Your Valuable Resource
If you are facing a divorce and you have a child with special needs, you
must take specific precautions and considerations with child custody,
child support and alimony to limit the effects of divorce on your child’s
government aid. Don’t limit your child’s benefits by being
greedy during your divorce. Our experienced
Orlando divorce attorney can help you set up a special needs trust and can work with you and your
spouse to determine the best course of action in your divorce. Your child
deserves to have the most benefits, medical care, and government aid available.
It is your job as a parent to protect these resources, and it is our job
to help you do so.
Contact our offices
today to discuss your divorce. Call us at (407) 603-3460.