Custody of Special Needs Children
Monmouth County Child Custody Attorneys
There are many nuances in a divorce or family law case involving a child or children with special needs. Those with autism, Down Syndrome, and other special physical or mental needs require different considerations, and their families may have different financial concerns. These must be taken into account when deciding both legal and physical custody and well as in a visitation agreement.
To discuss your unique situation, contact the Law Offices of Steven P. Monaghan today. We offer free consultations to help you get started.
When parents of a special needs child cannot reach a decision on where that child will live, the court will look at what is in the child’s best interest to make their decision. The court will take any special circumstances into account when making their decision, including the child’s preferences, if they are old enough and capable of expressing their wishes.
Other issues taken into consideration include, but are not limited to:
- Which parent has been the child’s primary caregiver
- If there is a stronger bond with one parent
- The suggestions of doctors, therapists, teachers, or other professionals in the child’s life
- Each parent’s daily and weekly schedules
- Each parent’s ability to provide the special support the child needs
Determining Parenting Time
In many cases, shared visitation, or parenting time, is preferable for the child’s best interests. However, this can also be disruptive for a child with special needs. Children diagnosed on the autism spectrum, for example, many have difficulty with transitioning from one home to the other, which can impede their mental development. In these cases, it may be more beneficial to create a structured routine for visitation based on the child’s best interests.
Custodial parents of children with special needs often have a larger financial burden to account for increased medical bills, therapy, accessibility equipment, tuition, and more. This is in addition to everyday needs, such as food, shelter, and clothing.
Our experienced Monmouth County custody attorneys can help custodial parents negotiate a support schedule that both provides for the child’s needs and provides the parent with the monetary help they need. This can include negotiating for a larger support amount or extending the amount of time the non-custodial parent is required to pay.
The Law Offices of Steven P. Monaghan Represents the Needs of Your Child
In any custody case our firm takes on, we remain steadfast in our commitment to ensuring their needs and best interests are always protected. From coming to an initial custody agreement regarding your special needs child to modifying or enforcing its terms, you can count on our lawyers to advocate for your best interests, and the best interest of your children.
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