Divorce and the Special Needs Child: A Guide for Parents


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Margaret Pegi Price
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1. Your Child's Special Needs. Types of Special Needs. Why Does This Matter In Divorce Court? Impact of Divorce on Special Needs Children.; 2. How to Hire a Good Divorce Lawyer for Your Special Needs Case.; I. Choosing Your Divorce Lawyer.; II. Finding Good Candidates.; III. The Interview.; IV. The Lawyer's Approach and Personality.; V. The Lawyer's Credentials.; VI. Expectations.; VII. Office Procedures and Practices.; 3. How Does a Case Go through Divorce Court?; I. Overview of Family Courts.; II. The First Documents Filed with the Court.; III. Additional Documents Filed with the Court.; IV. Temporary Orders and Other Motions.; V. Orders of Protection.; VI. Court Meetings or Conferences.; VII. Discovery.; VIII. What You Need to Know before the First Court Date.; IX. Settlement or Trial.; 4. What Is Different about Your Case?; I. Child Custody and Visitation.; II. Child Support.; III. Alimony (Maintenance or Spousal Support).; IV. Property Distribution & Retirement Accounts.; V. Guardian Ad Litem.; VI. Expert Witnesses.; VII. Proving Your Case to the Court.; 5. Child Custody & Visitation.; I. Primary Caregiver Parent.; II. Parent Training.; III. Logistical Considerations.; I. Parental Denial.; II. Lack of Cooperation/Medical or Educational Neglect.; III. Child's Schedule.; IV. Environmental Modifications.; V. What Does Physical Custody Mean?; VI. What Does Legal Custody Mean?; 6. Child Support.; I. Current Expenses.; II. Therapy, Equipment & Medications.; III. Supplements, Dietary Costs and Sensory Items.; IV. Respite Care.; V. Professionals.; VI. Home Modifications.; VII. Future Changes in the Child's Condition or Needs.; 7. Alimony (Maintenance or Spousal Support).; I. Primary Caregiver's Job Future.; II. Primary Caregiver's Future Retirement Savings.; III. How the Noncustodial Parent Can Help.; 8. Property Distribution & Retirement Accounts. How We Split up the House and Other Property?; I. What Should We Do about the Debts?; II. How Do We Handle the Retirement Accounts?; 9. How You Can Help Your Lawyer Get the Best Result?; I. Reasonable Expectations.; II. Be Cooperative, Not Confrontational.; III. Collect Medical and Educational Documents.; IV. Help Educate Your Lawyer On Your Child's Special Needs.; V. Get Evaluations and Reports.; VI. Guardian Ad Litem.; VII. Expert Witnesses.; VIII. Translate the Jargon for Your Lawyer.; 10. Tying up Loose Ends.; I. Share Information.; II. Sign Releases and Authorizations.; III. Papers to Sign.; IV. Car Titles, Mortgages & Quit Claim Deeds.; V. Bank and Financial Accounts.; VI. Employers and Insurance.; VII. Retirement Accounts.; VIII. Schools, Day Care, Therapists & Doctors.; 11. Life after Divorce.; I. Your New Reality.; II. Two Households and Visitation.; III. Less Money, More Expenses.; IV. Future Relationships.; V. Protecting Your Child.; 12. What to Do When Things Change in the Future.; I. When Can the Court Help Me in the Future?; II. What Should I Do Then?; 13. Resources.; 14. Bibliography.; 15. Checklists.

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