Special Needs Children and Custody

Divorce is a challenging time for everyone involved, including the spouses and their children.  After the divorce or separation, the parents will have to figure out how to move forward with co-parenting along side their former spouse or partner.  The children will also have to adjust to having their parents live in two separate households, and sometimes adjust to new step-parents and step-siblings as well.  During a custody battle, a judge in New Jersey will make a child custody decision based on what is in the child’s best interest.  If your child has special needs, considering what is best for the child has some important nuances you should think through.

First, clearly “special needs” encompasses a very wide variety of abilities and disabilities.  Like any other child custody case, you need to carefully consider the unique needs of your child.  For example, a child with cerebral palsy will have different needs than a child with dyslexia.  Your custody order should be closely tailored to fit the needs of your child.

Next, consider which parent has historically been the one with the most involvement in the child’s medical care and therapy.  If, for example, the father is the one who has usually been responsible for taking the child to all his or her therapy appointments, talking with specialists about treatment plans, and discussing the child’s educational plans with the school, then that parent may be a more suitable person to be the child’s primary caregiver.

You will also need to think about the amount of care that your child requires.  Does your child attend school during the day, or does your child stay home with caretakers coming in to help with daily tasks?  How often does your child need to be taken to doctors or therapists?  The answer to these questions will reflect how much time it takes everyday for the child to receive the appropriate care.  If one parent has a job where he or she works twelve hour days while the other parent’s schedule is much more flexible, then the parents should carefully consider which of these parents will actually be able to take care of the child’s daily requirements.

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These are just a few of the issues involved when thinking about custody and special needs children.  Call us today and we can talk about a parenting schedule that will best suit your child’s needs.

Are you interested in seeking an annulment? If so, contact Williams Law Group, LLC right away. Our family law attorneys will review your case to determine if an annulment is an option. If it is, we will guide you through the process and ensure you make the best decisions for your future. Call our office at (908) 738-8512, email us atinfo@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation

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