For most parents, having a child is one of the most exciting and most important milestones of their lives. A child can turn an adult’s life upside down and even make them more mature in general. Raising a child can be a metaphorical rollercoaster ride for every parent. It can be fun and fulfilling, yet challenging and exhausting at the same time.
If both parents decide to hire divorce lawyers and part ways for good, the children will be the first ones who will be directly affected by the decision. Following that major decision, the next thing the ex-couple needs to take care of is child custody and support. Worrying about the welfare of your child following a divorce is one thing. Worrying about your child with special needs is another thing.
Divorcing with a special needs child
For one thing, worrying about your special needs child following a divorce can already be a cause of anxiety and stress for both parents. Given that the child has “special” needs as compared to normal children, the ex-couple should discuss carefully how they will raise their child after a divorce. This is why it is a good idea to consult family lawyers regarding this matter.
A special needs child refers to children with health issues that need constant attention. This involves physical, mental, or emotional health concerns that plague the child regardless of how old or young he or she is. The court will decide on the action plans that the parents should comply with depending on the child’s condition.
For example, the court would focus on each parent’s homes and ensure that it is safe and accessible for their special needs child. Another instance may also include the court ensuring that the child is free from any kinds of stress and is well-taken care of. Having said that, the court will decide on how to deal with the child’s welfare depending on its specific health issues.
Child custody involving a special needs child
Taking care of a special needs child can be challenging – even stressful in some instances. This is something that can be a cause of conflict between divorcing spouses. However, this should also not be the time to pass up the responsibility of taking care of the child – which should both the parents’ responsibility in the first place. In such a case, it is a good idea to consult child support lawyers to settle this matter.
Usually, the court considers several factors that will determine the child’s best placement. Among these factors include the following:
- Communication between the child and the parents
- The parent’s capabilities in terms of taking care of the child financially, physically, medically, and emotionally
- The child’s special needs including medical care, access to special equipment such as wheelchairs, and other specific instructions as per doctor
- The child’s ease of access for his/her care providers
- How the child can adapt to his/her new environment and domestic situation
In some instances, the child may be needed to have a special guardian present during court hearings. This is aside from the presence of the parents and family lawyers while on hearing. However, the court may decide if neither parent is capable of taking care of their child with special needs. That is why it is important to consult the best divorce lawyers who will provide advice and other legal services you will need in your case.
Other things to consider in child custody for a special needs child
Both parents should have the primary legal responsibility to support their children in all aspects of it, regardless of the child’s health condition. However, it will ultimately be the court’s decision which should favor the child’s welfare. It is also important to hire child support lawyers to help you deal with the case.
Among support that should be provided to the child include expenses for his/her education, health and medication, food, and other daily needs. Even if the other parent is not awarded custody, he or she should still continue to provide all kinds of support until the child’s transition to adulthood. Support may also have to continue especially if the child is unable to support him/herself even in adulthood.
Taking care of a child can be challenging at some point. More so, the situation can be more complicated if yours is a special needs child. In the event of a divorce, the child’s welfare should be top of the list. In this case, you should hire the best divorce lawyers to help you deal with this situation. Contact top rated divorce lawyers in Alexandria VA for your legal concerns.