In this edition of Parenting Impossible, 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.

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. 

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.

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.