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Families with disabled children don't face increased divorce risk

Almost everyone would agree that having multiple children increases responsibilities and stress for parents. Some studies have shown that the more children a couple has, the higher their chance of divorce later on. When one child is found to have a disability, it would seem that this risk would be even higher. However, one study claims otherwise.

A recently-published study coming out of the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has found that couples who have children with developmental disabilities do not face an increased risk of divorce if they have more children. In fact, the divorce rate for this group was 22 percent. The comparison group had a divorce rate of 20 percent, which is not a statistically significant change.

The study looked at 190 parents who had a child with a developmental disability, including cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism and other intellectual disabilities. The study tracked the families for almost 60 years. Most of the parents were born in the 1930s. The study also focused primarily on those families who identify themselves as Caucasian. While researchers believe that one reason for the findings is that healthy children in these families are more likely to pitch in and relieve some of the stress, they believe more research is needed to solidify the findings.

Colorado divorces involving a child with special needs require knowledge of the general family law guidelines as well as the circumstances for which deviations are allowed if they are in the best interests of the child. Talking with a Colorado family law attorney can help you understand more about these possibilities.

Source: University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Divorce rate doesn't go up as families of children with disabilities grow," Adityarup Chakravorty, Oct. 30, 2015

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