Divorce can have lifelong repercussions for both you and your child, especially if that child is a special needs child. Being awarded child support is usually a good thing in divorce, however, with a special needs child, such awards could actually be detrimental.
Divorce and Social Security Benefits
When you receive child support for a special needs child, this can occasionally cancel out the child’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits. This is dependent on the size of the award.
Also, you may need to reconsider where you will be living after you get divorced. If you decide to live with family, you should realize that the Social Security Association (SSA) does something known as “deeming.” Income deeming is a process by which every household income is added together. If this total income is too high, your child could lose SSI and Medicaid. Income deeming also adds the welfare received for the special needs child’s siblings as separate income to be added to that total.
In some cases, the income levels, and thus the safety of the child’s SSI and Medicaid benefits, of the two parent’s households differ greatly. In such cases, deeming can be used as basis in child custody and choosing the custodial parent.
To learn more about navigating a Virginia divorce involving a special needs child, visit our articles library.
At Hofheimer Family Law Firm, we understand that the health and happiness of your children is your #1 concern. We will work with you to address any fears and anxieties you may have about your children’s future. Our women’s-only divorce attorneys will guide you every step of the way to ensure that you achieve the best possible child custody and child support arrangements for you and your children.
To learn more about your Virginia divorce, request a FREE copy of our guide, What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce, or reserve your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.