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Child custody issues re special needs kids in California

Divorce is seldom easy, and it often necessitates major life adjustments for those involved. California families who have gone through a divorce may relate to the many emotional and legal challenges involved. In particular, parents with special needs children may find themselves facing child custody issues that require extensive negotiation in order to resolve.

Some researchers claim that divorce is more likely for couples who are parents of children with special needs. Though others may challenge such an assertion, it appears that the expenses and requirements of raising special needs kids proves more than some marriages can withstand. Resolving issues related to child custody is often different in situations that include specially challenged children in comparison to circumstances where those issues are not present.

A parent who has legal custody of a child has the authoritative voice when it comes to major life decisions involving the child's religion, health or education. Similar to other child custody proceedings, a parent of a special needs child can have either joint or sole legal custody of a special needs child. Because of the  multitude of decisions that might need to made on short notice regarding child care in these circumstances, it is understandable why custody decisions must be made with the child's best interests at heart.

One consideration for California parents facing child custody issues regarding children with special needs is which parent is most available to facilitate the frequently needed appointments with doctors, evaluators, specialists and other third party entities instrumental in the child's care. Such issues are highly personal and can evoke strong emotions from a concerned parent. Questions or concerns about the legal challenges of such a situation are best addressed through consultation with an experienced family law attorney.

Source:, "Ringlespaugh: Custody issues for parents of special-needs children", Jan. 13, 2016

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