Custody Considerations For Special Needs Children

Having a child who’s medically fragile or who has special needs is often challenging for the parents. In some cases, the parents will go through a divorce. Trying to work out a child custody arrangement for a child who has special needs isn’t always easy. 

There are many factors that parents of children with special needs must consider for child custody that aren’t present for other parents. Remembering these may help both parents to make decisions that are in the child’s best interest. 

Who will make medical decisions?

Medically fragile children have complex medical histories that can be a lot for parents to remember. A child who has special needs might benefit from having one parent make the majority of the regular medical decisions for them. Of course, both parents need to have the right to make decisions in an emergency just in case something happens and only one parent is available. 

What happens with medical equipment?

Medical equipment is costly, so it might be cost-prohibitive for both parents to have equipment in their homes. Instead, the equipment may need to go with the child. The alternative to this is to use the bird’s nest parenting style that involves both parents rotating out their time with the child at the child’s home. 

How is transportation handled?

If the child has a wheelchair or other specialized equipment, a special vehicle might be necessary. These are also expensive, so the parents may need to use the same vehicle. Making child custody decisions for a child who has special needs can be a challenge, but it’s something that’s usually handled better if the parents can work together. Be sure the parenting plan is set for the child’s current needs. It can always be modified in the future if those needs change.