Child Support and Custody Considerations for Disabled Children

Carlsbad, CA – When you have a special needs child, and you’re going through a divorce, you will likely have more issues to tackle than others. To ensure the best possible outcome for your disabled child, you and the other parent will need to work together during this trying process.

Considerations for Custody

California courts always contemplate the best interest of the child first in custody cases. For optimal results for you and your child, take some time to examine what needs are necessary. Document this process whenever possible, as there is much to consider. You and your child’s other parent will have to decide a few things, namely:

  • Will you share custody equally, or will one parent be the primary caregiver?
  • How will you handle transitions when the child visits each parent?
  • Will you need to hire someone to help, such as a home health aide or respite care provider?
  • How amenable is each parent’s schedule to caring for your child on a regular basis?
  • Are there adaptations or equipment to take into account (e.g., wheelchairs and wheelchair-accessible modifications in your home)?
  •  If your child qualifies for special education either under the federal IDEA Act or with a 504 plan, how will those needs continue to be met?

As your case will be entirely unique, you’ll want to consult with a family law firm that fully understands the intricacies of child custody laws in California.

Child Support Considerations

When you have a child with a disability, you will likely incur additional costs related to care. For example, you may need to calculate the price of occupational or behavioral therapy, specialized medical equipment that may need to be resized with your child’s growth, as well as dietary, medication, or transportation needs.

Furthermore, child support orders in California may be continued throughout your child’s life –not just through age 18—depending on the nature of the disability.

If your child qualifies for Medicare or Supplemental Security Income, you’ll probably want to maximize your child’s access to these or other disability benefits. Because divorce potentially changes each household’s income, you may qualify for these services even if you didn’t in the past. In fact, California law has specific parameters for each parent’s duty for child support. Therefore, it is critical that you get good legal representation to carefully handle the intricacies of your case; you may be eligible for more funds than you might have expected.

Ultimately, you want what’s best for your child and your family’s situation. While this process is wrought with complexities, there is help available.

To learn more about custody and/or child support, schedule a free consultation today with the attorneys at Griffith, Young, and Lass. This experienced family law practice will handle your case with dignity and the utmost professionalism.

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One thought on “Child Support and Custody Considerations for Disabled Children

  1. I like what you recommend about consider how flexible each parent’s schedule is in order for the child to get proper care. It makes sense that it’s very important for a child with a disability to have constant care and ensuring there’s a parent available after school is essential for the child’s well-being. Thanks for sharing; these tips could be very helpful particularly during a divorce because it’s important to not neglect them.

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