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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Housing, Divorce and Your Special Needs Relative


In this weekend's Your Money column, I try to get beyond the financial checklist items (like wills, trusts and government benefits) that you encounter when you have a family member with special needs, and talk about the issues that tend to weigh on people's emotions.

The first is the question of where a family member will live, and it's an expensive one if they do not qualify for Social Security or Medicaid or some other form of public assistance that foots the bill. The second is the fear of divorce - a possibility given the stress of raising a child with special needs. Divorce can be financially devastating even under normal circumstances, let alone when you have a child with long-term costs that you hope to help pay throughout that child's life.

For people who have family members with special needs, how did you decide whether to have them live with you? And what specific strategies did you use to try to keep your marriage or partnership strong?