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Special Needs – Not Your “Typical” Family Law Practice

It takes a village to raise a child.
-African proverb

special needsNavigating the Intersection of Family Law and Children with Special Needs.

Family law courtrooms spend countless hours struggling to make the right orders for the custody and support of “typical” children.  The court’s struggle takes on an entirely new level of complexity and significance when they must consider such orders for children who have special needs. Although not routine or commonly addressed in traditional family law matters, orders that must consider the particularized needs of a child with special needs and the resulting needs of that child’s family are not impossible.

The issues faced by parents who have children with special needs in family law matters are well-known to Donna Laurent.  She is astutely attuned to the impact of treatment regimen and routine, process and providers, funding and finances and the language and abbreviations that fill the lives of the families whose lives are touched by such challenges. Special needs issues impact almost every area of the family law landscape including child custody, child support and even the division of property in dissolution actions, although the particularities of Special Needs Children are most compelling to the disputes that parties have concerning child custody.  In addition to 20+ years of legal experience, Donna Laurent intimately understands and speaks the language of clients facing the challenges of raising a child with special needs.  Her specialized experience and personal understanding allows her to offer a level of care and service not “typical” of any other family law firm in the Los Angeles area.  She find herself constantly repeating her mantra, “I GET it.”

Personal Experience. Compassionate Representation.

Co-parenting always comes with challenges for the parties involved.  This is particularly true when you have a child with special needs.

  • Will the child be medicated? And with which medications?
  • Will the child receive special education services? To what extent?
  • Who gets to make final decisions in the event the parents disagree?

When your child has special needs, these questions and many more must be dealt with on an almost daily basis.

Donna knows, first hand, how difficult it can be to co-parent children with special needs.  She has compassionately represented many, many parents dealing with these very emotional issues.  She takes pride in her ability to assist her clients in reaching solutions that truly work for their families.  She understands the medical, emotional, educational and developmental needs of children with special needs.  She will make sure you consider all of the day-to-day issues your child will face in the break up of the family.

Parenting Plan Coordinators and Special Masters

The California legislature has not clearly addressed many of the issues affecting children with special needs, so Donna is in a unique position to offer practical counsel to parents in these challenging circumstances.  In fact, she often find herself educating other legal professionals about these issues.

One of the services Laurent Legal offers is acting as “Parenting Plan Coordinators” or “Special Masters.”  This means Donna Laurent is able to help parents reach agreements about parenting plans and custody.  If you are unable to reach an agreement through mediation (ADR), and do not wish to litigate custody issues, Donna would have the power to make final decisions in your legal custody matters as a Parenting Plan Coordinator if you and your spouse agree to retain her in such a role.  In this way, you need not go through the emotionally and financially taxing litigation process.

Rely on Donna Laurent’s Dedicated Legal Experience

Donna has access to many resources available to parents of children with special needs, and she can help you learn how to effectively co-parent your child. Call 818-946-3100 or contact Donna online to schedule a consultation.