When your child is disabled or has other special needs, and your marriage has ended, an already complicated process—child custody—becomes even more complex. As a parent, you want what’s best for your child, and the court is duty bound to give priority to the best interests of the child when establishing custody and visitation.
Factors to Be Considered When Determining Custody of a Special Needs Child
Before assessing the best custody and parenting time arrangements, you need to fully determine the special needs of the child. This may involve assessments by medical and mental health professionals, as well as school or educational officials.
One critical consideration when parenting a special needs child will likely be time. The child will most certainly demand and require more time than children without special needs. A parent who works long hours may not be able to provide adequate attention to the child.
Other factors are important:
- Finances can be tough. Often special needs children require extra services like therapies, tutoring, and other help from various professionals. Arranging to pay for those services is very important.
- If both parents work, consideration must be given to the availability of child care resources targeted to special needs children
- If the child requires regular or continual medical care, you need to honestly assess who will best be able to provide the child with that care
- A custody arrangement must recognize the level of communication between parents. If communication is good, the custody arrangement may often be more relaxed, as parents should be able to openly discuss what’s in the child’s best interests. However, where communication is poor or non-existent, the court will be inclined to establish strict parameters on custody and visitation, for the protection of the child.
Contact the Experienced New Jersey Family Law Lawyers at Lyons & Associates
Contact our office online or call us at 908-575-9777 to schedule a confidential consultation. Lyons & Associates, PC, serves the entire state of New Jersey including Somerville, Bridgewater, Somerset, Basking Ridge, Mendham and Morristown.