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Incorporating special needs planning into a divorce

Along with numerous people across the country, many Georgia residents live full lives with a disability. Whether born with it or it happened through an accident, adjustments are necessary in order to make life as comfortable and "user-friendly" as possible. Special needs planning is also a part of that since obtaining government benefits and participating in some government programs requires a certain income level for the person with the disability.

If you are facing divorce, keeping this in mind is crucial. What may otherwise be a simple process of dividing assets could quickly become problematic when trying to ensure that the spouse with the disability does not lose much needed benefits. The issue of spousal support requires the same care and attention.

It may seem like simply putting assets into a special needs trust would be enough. However, you and your future former spouse may want to remember that the Medicaid reimbursement rules are not the same for adults as they are for children. For this reason, the trust must be carefully drafted in order to protect the individual with the disability while also providing a fair settlement and an equitable division of assets. In addition, a carefully crafted settlement and trust will relieve some burden from party without the disability as well.

The bottom line is that in a divorce involving a spouse with a disability, numerous additional considerations exist that other couples do not need to take into account. It would only make sense to work with a Georgia attorney knowledgeable in both family law and special needs planning. This combination of experience can increase the odds of finding the right balance needed in order to preserve rights to Medicaid benefits, receiving a fair settlement and protecting your other rights as well.

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