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Divorce And Autism


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Hello all,

New here and looking for some advice. I am LDS and was sealed in the temple. My husband is filing for divorce but the reason we're no longer together is because of infidelity on his end. I have a four-year-old son with autism and he has some very special needs. I'm quite concerned about the custody arrangement that will be made. Has anyone had a similar experience and have an ironclad custody agreement they would be willing to share?

Thanks to all for any tips or advice!

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Talk to your bishop. He may be able to refer you to church social services. Sounds like you may need an attorney as well to advise you on the legalities.

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Thanks for the advice! I've made an appointment to see my bishop as well as an attorney. I was just hoping that someone might have an example for me to look over of the actual custody agreement specifically for a child with special needs. I don't think they're very common yet. Thanks again!

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Just wanted to wish you good luck. We had a son who was profoundly autistic, with major behavior issues. We have often commented to each other that the two of us could barely do the job, and that we were divorce-proof because no one person could raise him. That being said, we often noticed how few married couples were raising special needs kids together. Very few marriages seem to survive the stress, but in our case, it welded us together. Long story, I suppose.

Since our boy passed several years ago, while I am very much married to the same person, it's a whole different marriage, since our life is no longer centered around managing the chaos on two legs that was our son.

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I'm sure your attorney will know to get autism experts to testify. If they don't, you can private message me and tell me where you are and I might have some sources to suggest to you. I think that a child who has autism can be parented by loving parents who live separately when the transition is carefully planned (and maybe supported by board certified behavior analysts). It is my experience that parents rarely fight over who gets to spend the most time with a child on the spectrum, and that one parent doesn't want a whole lot of time. That isn't how it should be, but one has to be pretty unselfish to raise a child with a disability.

Edited by rpn
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Thanks for the advice! I've made an appointment to see my bishop as well as an attorney. I was just hoping that someone might have an example for me to look over of the actual custody agreement specifically for a child with special needs. I don't think they're very common yet. Thanks again!

Just a word of advice: Do your homework when it comes to attorneys. All attorneys are not created equal and a really god one doesn't cost much more than a really poor one.

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I'm in Texas

Oh. If you had been in Arizona, I could refer you to a really good family law office (LDS attorneys, all). We've had some really complicated, mind-boggling family law issues in our ward, and have been really happy with the work they have done as we've referred people to them. They are high-end on price, but like ERayR said, ain't they all? :) My first counselor is an attorney and a BYU law grad, so he has some networks when it comes to law.

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Thank you! I've been asking around and have made an appointment with the person that everyone says is the BEST divorce attorney in town. Apparently, she has never lost a case. Fingers crossed!

A few years back my daughter was in a child custody case, The father hired one of those who had never lost a case. We helped her hire one who knew the lay very well and wasn't afraid of her. He explained the law and said he would not over reach the law but would insist on everything it allowed. Daughter didn't get everything she wanted but the other party got almost none of what he was asking.

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I've seen plenty. None I can share. The best custody arrangements are the ones that keep the child's needs foremost in mind. Sometimes it helps to have a guardian ad litem involved to help both parties understand the needs of the child come first, not the needs of the parents. Agreements that promote flexibility appear to work best, IMO.

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