Insight on Custody Negotiations Involving Special Needs Children

Posted on: 10 December 2020

Anytime a couple decides to get a divorce and the couple has children, an imperative part of the process is to determine child custody. Typically, the court system will opt to make the decision that is in the best interest of the child. Traditionally, the goal is to allow the children an equal amount of time with each parent as much as possible. However, if your child has a disability, different considerations are taking into account. The following are some things you need to keep in mind as you go through this process:

Keep Special Considerations in Mind

When you have a child without special needs, you might expect to exchange weekends, have a certain amount of time with your child during holidays, and the like. However, a child with disabilities will likely require a special situation. These children often thrive on consistency, but also with fewer adjustments to the schedule.

There may always be instances in which one of you need to be willing to adjust your personal schedule for the child to have the ability to take part in necessary or essential activities for the child's development. This may mean you have to make changes to your work schedule to allow you to take the child to special appointments or therapies. If you are unable to do this, you will have to compromise on the custody arrangements to allow your spouse the time to take your child where they need to go.

Make Compromises for the Best Interest of Your Child

When you have a special needs child, you have to be willing and able to compromise as you are working through your custody negotiations. Because your child will have special accommodations and considerations, you and your spouse must compromise on how much time you may get with your child. For example, if you are not able to accommodate your child's needs for therapy appointments because of your professional schedule or if you live a distance away from the child's providers, you may have to compromise and allow some additional time for your former spouse to accommodate your child's medical needs.

A child with special needs will have some unique circumstances, and you and your former spouse must be willing to work together to come up with a suitable custody arrangement that works best for your child. Be sure to work with a child custody attorney to get help with your custody situation.