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Navigating a Divorce with a Special Needs Child

Posted on in Child Custody

Texas complex custody attorney, Texas high asset divorce lawyer, child custody laws, Estimates suggest that around one million couples divorce in America each year. A percentage of those couples are parents of children with special needs. Often more prone to experiencing emotional distress during the changes that may occur during and after a divorce, the special medical, behavioral, therapeutic, and/or basic care needs must continue amidst the chaos. As such, divorcing parents of special needs children need to know how to effectively navigate the process while still ensuring that the best interest of their child is protected and considered.

Understanding Custody Arrangements for Special Needs Children

Like custody arrangements for all children, the decisions regarding where a special needs child will live, and how much time they receive with a noncustodial parent are based upon the child’s “best interest.” Keep in mind that this is a very broad term, and it is based upon numerous factors. As it pertains to children with special needs, these factors may include (but are not limited to):

  • Each parent’s ability to understand the needs of their child;
  • Each parent’s willingness to meet the needs of their child:
  • The stability of each parent’s home or environment;
  • Preference of the child and/or the child’s needs for continuity;
  • Each parent’s willingness to encourage a positive relationship with the other parent; and
  • And the child’s relationship with each parent and/or siblings or other family members.

Furthermore, there may be additional considerations not listed above. If, for example, a great deal of effort was put into creating an effective Individualized Education Plan (IEP) at the child’s current school, the parent who plans to stay within the current school district may be a more favorable choice. Or, if access to certain behavioral, medical, or therapeutic needs will be limited by location for one parent, the parent with more access may be more suited to meet the child’s daily needs. Of course, each situation is unique, and all relative factors must be carefully weighed before making a final determination.

Protecting the Best Interest of Your Special Needs Child

Ideally, parents should attempt to come to an agreement on their own. This can make for a smoother transition, particularly for children who have special needs, but it is not always a possibility. One parent may still be struggling to come to terms with the specific needs of their child. Allegations of poor quality care or an inability to meet the child’s needs may be made in an effort to “get even.” Or parents may simply disagree on how to best go about meeting their child’s needs. Regardless of the reason, parents who cannot agree on the best interest of their child need quality legal assistance.

Experienced in handling complex custody matters, the Law Offices of William D. Powers approach every divorce and custody case with compassion and understanding. Committed to strongly advocating for you and your child, we attempt to resolve your special needs custody issues as effectively and efficiently as possible. Schedule a initial consultation with our aggressive Cedar Park complex child custody law firm for a realistic assessment of your situation. Call us at 512-610-6199 today.

 

Sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-zika-women-idUSKCN0WD21D

http://www.americanbar.org/newsletter/publications/gp_solo_magazine_home/gp_solo_magazine_index/parentsdivorce.html

https://www.medicalhomeportal.org/living-with-child/legal-issues/when-parents-of-children-with-disabilities-divorce

The Law Offices of William D. Powers

8911 N. Capital of Texas Highway, Building 2, Suite 2105, Austin, TX 78759