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Considerations in a divorce involving children with disabilities

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Child Custody And Support |

All divorces involving children have special considerations. When these children have disabilities, their unique needs may come into play.

Factors such as custody arrangements, child support and education plans can shape the outcome of such cases.

Custody arrangements

In Alabama, the primary focus in custody decisions is the best interest of the child. Courts evaluate the ability of each parent to meet the child’s specific needs. This includes considering the physical, emotional and medical care the child requires. Parents must demonstrate their capacity to provide a stable and supportive environment. The court may seek input from health care professionals and educators who understand the child’s needs.

Child support considerations

Child support calculations take into account the financial needs of the child. For children with disabilities, these needs may be significantly higher. This can include expenses for medical care, therapy, special education and adaptive equipment. The court examines these additional costs to ensure the child support order reflects the true financial requirements.

Educational needs

Children with disabilities often require specialized education plans. During a divorce, it is important to address how these educational needs will be met. This includes determining who will make decisions regarding the child’s education and ensuring that both parents are involved in the process. The court may review existing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) or 504 plans to understand the child’s educational requirements. The goal is to maintain consistency and support in the child’s educational experience.

Health care and medical decisions

Divorce agreements must clearly outline who is responsible for making medical decisions and providing health care. This includes decisions about routine care, emergency treatments and ongoing therapies. It is important for both parents to communicate effectively and work together to manage the child’s medical needs. The court may establish specific guidelines to prioritize the child’s health.

Divorces involving children with disabilities require a nuanced approach. Courts in Alabama strive to ensure that decisions collectively support the child’s well-being. Both parents must work collaboratively to provide a stable and nurturing environment for their child.