With many people divorcing later in life, establishing arrangements for elder care has become increasingly important. But what about situations where divorcing couples have special needs children?

Our guest, Linda Anderson, a certified elder law attorney, will help us understand how to navigate these issues. Linda is one of approximately 50 certified elder law attorneys in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Her practice, Anderson Elder Law, specializes in the legal issues affecting elders, the disabled, and their families. We are thrilled to have her as a guest for this podcast to help us share the information necessary for families with special needs children who are divorcing to do so with clarity and confidence.

The statistics are not clear on whether the risk of divorce increases in families with special needs children. One report states the while the average divorce rate is 50%, the divorce rate for couples with special needs children is 85%.

The most common struggle for these couples facing divorce is how to meet the requirements of their special needs children, now and in the future.

Your Team of Experts

You are likely working with your family attorney as you begin divorce proceedings. You want to ensure that the family law attorney is bringing in a special needs attorney, who has the expertise as it relates to special needs planning and the role of public benefits, and a financial planner, to ensure the structuring of the estate plan for the child is established to determine the rest of the financial settlements.

There is an overlap between understanding the public benefits for both seniors and special needs children and the uses of trusts in both cases. It is a body of knowledge that applies not just to people over a certain age but anyone of any age struggling to maintain control of their medical, legal, and financial issues. When caring for the welfare of special needs children – in a divorce situation or not – there must be an understanding of the public entitlements and benefits. 

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