Parents of special needs or medically complex children move through their life with a certain amount grief always present. Grief is the name of the process we are hard-wired to experience when we face loss or transition. Parents are deeply connected to the hopes and dreams they have for their children often years before they have them. Some say it is important for parents of special needs children to grieve the child they didn’t have, the child associated with their hopes and dreams. I advise parents to also grieve for the parent they didn’t get to be.
Similar to the way parents have hopes and dreams for their children, married couples have hopes and dreams for their partnership. When a marriage ends and the couple has a special needs or medically complex child the grief is compounded and can feel overwhelming.
There are a number of practical business matters that need to be addressed in a divorce, grief can complicate and delay this process if it is not acknowledged and dealt with. Below are 5 ways to manage complex grief during a divorce.
Dena Tranen, LCSW is a trained collaborative law professional and licensed clinical social worker. She works as a mental health coach, therapist and co-parenting specialist.