Divorce & Children with Special Needs: Protecting Benefits

Divorce & Children with Special Needs: Protecting Benefits

Posted By R. Gregory Colvin LLC || 11-Dec-2018

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 child’s future.

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.

Categories: Divorce, Family Law

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