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When a child has special needs, it can take a significant amount of teamwork and understanding for Washington parents to care for that child and maintain their own relationship. Unfortunately, not all parents are able to find that balance -- as parents of any child can find difficult -- and divorce may be in their future. However, it should not be assumed that parents of a special-needs child will automatically come to divorce. Nonetheless, the situation does take place, and the circumstances of the process could be slightly different.

There have been some reports claiming that 80 percent of parents who have a child with autism will divorce. Luckily, this statistic is not founded, and parents of autistic children have been found no more likely to divorce than parents of non-autistic children. Though this report does not condemn parents of autistic children to a fate of divorce, it does point out that divorce can happen.

When parents of a special-needs child divorce, the interests of the child are of the utmost importance. Because change can be especially difficult for autistic children, special attention may need to be put toward the areas of child custody and visitation. Focus on child support may also need to be more significant as future care for their child may require more monetary income than an average child.

Whether a parent has a special-needs child or not, matters of divorce concerning children should be handled accordingly. If more information is needed about special measures for custody and child support, Washington state laws could provide valuable information. Parents often want the best for their children, and ensuring that they are taken care of in the proper manner during and after divorce is a significant step.