Seek informed divorce advice when dealing with autism issues

Child support, custody, and access issues arising in divorce become more complicated when a child of the marriage is on the autistic spectrum, says Mississauga family lawyer Deepa Tailor.

“That condition adds a layer of complexity that other divorce files don’t have,” explains Tailor, managing director of Tailor Law Professional Corporation.


The child may require applied behavior analysis (ABA) or intensive behavioral intervention (IBI) therapy, which are both expensive.

The costs of these treatments are considered expenses in divorce proceedings under section 7 of the Family Law Act, she says since they are above and beyond what is listed in the Ontario Support Table put out by the Department of Justice.

Furthermore, to make up for that shortfall, parents have relied on provincial funding to get their children the help they need. Tailor says, that proposed changes to the Ontario Autism Program may reduce the amount of support that is available.

According to a Canadian Press (CP) story, five education worker unions released a joint statement condemning the changes.

Furthermore, the CP urges the government to rethink its decision on the Ontario Autism Program.

“This article discusses how a recent change in policy will have a negative impact on children with autism.”

Tailor says clients have told her the proposed modifications will be detrimental to their children.

Divorce issues

“The provincial proposals have complicated custody and support issues for divorcing couples with a autistic child,” she says.

Tailor says it is critical for the divorce order to state that the parent who is paying for the extra help receives the government funding.

“One party should be receiving a subsidy to pay for extra programs or treatments,” she says.

Generally speaking, Custody battles can become problematic if there are substantial s. 7 costs to deal with, Tailor says.

“These expenses add a strain to the divorce that other parties don’t have, making it much harder emotionally,” she says.

Moreover, children on the autism spectrum often have difficulty accessing information and services. Tailor says.

“It’s a consideration the court is going to take into account, because if one parent has not really been involved with taking care of an autistic child, that person will lack the soft skills they need, such as how to handle outbursts in public,” she says.

“If a child is on the autism spectrum, their parents need to be aware of what triggers their behavior”.


This post was first published on (which is now Inactive). This is a re-published article..

By Paul Russell, Contributor. November 8, 2019

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