New child support guidelines recently became effective in Massachusetts on October 4, 2021. We felt it would be a good time to bring back a podcast Annette did last year with husband Mark Worthington in which both attorneys discuss divorce when you have a special needs child. While a majority of these new child support changes affect standard family law matters relating to divorce, a few will affect special needs planning. These changes mainly are regarding Social Security and how these benefits are viewed as income as related to the payor or the recipient.  We recently released a blog on these new Massachusetts child support changes which you can read here.

There have also been a few other Social Security related matters recently introduced, unfortunately many are stuck in Congress. One in particular notes that Social Security rules related to benefit levels are so outdated that it forces disabled and elderly individuals into poverty.  The Social Security system needs and overhaul but they say they can’t afford it.  

Make Your Voice Heard!

This is the time to make your voice heard!  Talk to your policy makers, politicians – tell them what you need, what you want, tell them about your situation.  If you are not sure how to contact or find these people in your area, please reach out to us at Special Needs Companies and we will do our best to assist you with the information.

In this prior episode of Parenting Impossible from 2020, Annette and her husband Mark Worthington discuss what you need to consider during the divorce process as a parent of a special needs child. Mark is Senior Counsel at Special Needs Law Group of Massachusetts and a Professor of Law at Western New England University School of Law. He has also been named to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers list every year since 2008.

Divorce Brings New Challenges For Special Needs Parents

Annette and Mark begin the show with a conversation about the increased number of people filing for divorce during the pandemic. The rise comes as more people have been forced to spend extended periods of time quarantined together. While divorce is a stressful process in general, it comes with an additional set of challenges for couples with special needs children.

Annette begins with her advice on creating a trust for child support. While she acknowledges each situation is different, she generally believes most cases do not require one for children under the age of 18. Once the child becomes an adult, a new plan must be put in place. 

The Importance of Special Needs Planning

Annette and Mark also share their thoughts on the importance of planning for the future. This includes figuring out what will change once your special needs child becomes an adult, health insurance options and estate planning. The couple breaks down some of the options that are available and why it’s so important to lay them out during the divorce process.

For information on other topics, please also check out Special Needs Companies. For legal advice, inspiration, and other resources, visit our blog here. Similarly, you can always listen to previous podcast episodes (and be sure to leave us a review), or download our free eBook here. We are always looking for podcast guests as well so please let us know if you or someone you know, has a special needs or disability topic you would like to speak about – Contact Us! 

Listen to the full episode here!

Please Leave a Podcast Review

As Annette mentioned, please consider leaving a podcast review for Parenting Impossible – The Special Needs Survival Podcast on iTunes.  More positive ratings and reviews mean more new listeners are introduced to this informational and inspirational podcast.  Look at the bottom of this page for the purple oval that says “Enjoying the podcast?  Leave an iTunes review here.”  This will take you over to the iTunes site/app where you will be able to login and leave a review.  We really appreciate it!

You can also join our free Facebook group for the disability community, the “Circle of Care,” or watch the webinars and other speaking events on YouTube. The purpose of this community is to create a space for people to be themselves, ask questions and get support and answers, so please share these resources with your friends!

For information on other topics, please also check out Special Needs Companies. For legal advice, inspiration, and other resources, visit our blog here. Similarly, you can always listen to previous podcast episodes (and be sure to leave us a review), or download our free eBook here. We are always looking for podcast guests as well so please let us know if you or someone you know, has a special needs or disability topic you would like to speak about – Contact Us!

Annette Hines has been practicing in the areas of Special Needs, Elder Law, and Estate Planning for more than 20 years. Ms. Hines brings personal experience with special needs to her practice and podcasts as the mother of two daughters, one of whom passed away from Mitochondrial disease in November 2013. This deep, personal understanding of special needs fuels her passion for quality special needs planning and drives her dedication to help others within the special needs community.

The post Episode 125: Things to Consider Before Filing For Divorce With A Special Needs Child with Mark Worthington (Reprise) appeared first on The Special Needs Companies.