Divorce or separation of two parents always comes with a host of challenges. But this is especially true where the child has special needs. Working through these matters can be emotionally taxing and frustrating, when all you want is what’s best for your child. Regardless of what sort of custody matter you have, you deserve a skilled Greenville, SC family law attorney.
Parents going through divorce or separation need to know what the best interests of the child standard is. Most courts use this standard, including those here in Greenville, SC. Judges don’t simply split custody down the middle or automatically favor one parent over the other. They have to analyze each case to see what sort of custody arrangement is best for the child.
Some custody arrangements may work for most parents, but not for special needs parents. For example, in many cases, one parent has custody during the week and the other on weekends. This might not be practical, however, for a child with autism or other special needs. So what might otherwise work for the child will not in this case. A best interest of the child analysis will look at numerous factors relevant to the special needs child. They include, but are not limited to:
- What are your child’s physical and medical needs, and what will they be in the future? These needs could impose substantial financial costs and require diligence on the part of either or both parents.
- How will the child’s needs affect child support, a related matter? It is important that all relevant costs are factored into this, such as special education expenses.
- Is the child eligible for Social Security or other benefits? Many of these depend on the child’s condition and age.
- Between you and the other parent, how will decisions about the child be made? A special needs child may require more frequent and significant decisions concerning health, education, and other issues.
- What sort of daily and overnight care does the child need? This will have a substantial impact on how much custody and visitation each parent has.
- Does either parent have special training or experience with the needs of the child? If one parent can handle the child’s medical issues better, for instance, that parent may be awarded more custody.
- One parent will have visitation with the child in most cases. That has to take into consideration whether the visiting parent can care for the child’s health, emotional, and other matters.
- Is the child likely to need special care after reaching age 18? This may require the parents to consider who will ultimately be the child’s guardian.
A Greenville, SC child custody attorney can discuss these and other issues that may apply to your special needs child. Some cases require outside expert witnesses who can testify in court about special circumstances. Any custody matter can wind up in court before a judge. But it is always better for the parents to settle matters out of court if possible.
Your Greenville, SC custody attorney will explore the possibility of a separation agreement or other arrangement besides litigation. This could require a child custody mediator to help you and the other parent sort out your differences. Of course, if your custody matter cannot be worked out, we will aggressively represent you in court.
WE HELP DIVORCING AND SEPARATING PARENTS WITH THEIR CUSTODY MATTERS
Custody is among the most difficult aspects of family law. It’s even more difficult when a special needs child is caught in the middle. The good news is, this isn’t a fight you have to go alone. We know the importance of protecting your child and protecting your parental rights. Count on the experienced attorneys of Greenville Family Law for your custody needs. Call us today to schedule a consultation.