How Can Your Disability Be Factored into Child Custody?

Child sitting with parent

There are all different types of parents, including parents with disabilities. Parents with disabilities are just as capable of being great parents as any others. So long as a parent is able to provide the necessities of food, shelter, clothing, and a loving, safe, and stable home to their children, they should be entitled to parental rights. When parents are dealing with custody and visibility rights, a disability alone should not have a negative impact. 

Differential Treatment of Parents with Disabilities

Unfortunately, parents with disabilities aren’t always treated the same way as other parents when dealing with these rights under the law. However, it’s important to note that in order to terminate a parent’s custody or visitation rights, it must be proven that they are “unfit.” 

Just as the court would have to account for a parent who has an on-call job like a doctor, or a parent who is in school and works at night, the court must work its custody order and parenting plan around the schedule of a parent with a disability. There are a number of relevant considerations. 

Physical Limitations

A parent with a disability may find it more difficult to perform certain basic care and activities for their child without assistance. They may need help. Child custody agreements should account for what you are able and not able to do on your own. Physical limitations can certainly impact how child care is performed, but it should not terminate any rights. Parents with disabilities may simply parent differently concerning their physical limitations, or may choose to seek assistance from a parent or hired professional when the child is in their care. 

Medical Appointments

Many individuals with a disability require somewhat regular medical appointments to ensure that everything is going well. Regular appointments, such as those with doctors, may mean multiple appointments per month or even week. While a parent is at a medical appointment, they may be unable to look after their child. This should be taken into consideration when planning out a custody order. 

Sudden Necessary Medical Treatment

Sometimes people with disabilities may experience medical issues that require immediate treatment. The possibility that they may find themselves in a position where they need sudden care, such as being admitted to a hospital, or undergoing surgery, is something that should be well thought-out and accounted for within a child custody agreement. Depending upon one’s disability, this may be a regular occurrence and what should happen when this occurs should be decided ahead of time. 

Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Can Help Those Dealing with Child Custody and Other Divorce Issues in VA

If you are currently dealing with child custody issues it can be an extremely sensitive and emotional time. It is important not to let your emotions get the best of you. Your child should always be priority. However, you need to remember that as a parent, you are entitled to certain rights. Your children are extremely important. That’s why consulting with a knowledgeable and experienced Family Law attorney can make all the difference. 

At Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC, we understand and have empathy for those dealing with child custody proceedings. We work with our clients to ensure that they get what they deserve. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, contact us today!

Posted in: Child Custody