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How does having a special needs child impact a custody battle?

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2023 | Child Custody

Emotions run high for every child custody dispute. Stakes are even higher if a child with special needs is involved in the middle of two conflicting parental forces.

Almost all states, including Georgia, carry out the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) to reduce interstate friction by indicating which court has jurisdiction over the case. Any decision should reflect the best interests of the special needs kid.

Unique care for your child with special needs

There is a whole gamut of medical, social and psychological considerations for a child with special needs. These unique accommodations include:

  • Consistent parenting plan – Living arrangements, the school set up and social interactions serve a vital developmental purpose. For example, a kid with an autism spectrum disorder or separation anxiety may need to sleep in the same bed every night. Any form of disruption to these established routines may be behaviorally detrimental.
  • Access to professional assistance – Sufficient financial resources for medication, supplements and other specialized equipment is necessary. Treatment providers, whether a physician, a therapist or a guidance counselor, must also be within reach for consultation appointments and other emergencies.
  • Quality of the environment – A safe, loving environment is essential. The special needs child may also require specific lighting, noise level and stimuli.

Should both parents willingly adapt to these changes, a smooth transition to life after divorce follows suit.

Setting aside differences

Co-parenting a child with special needs requires endless compromise and cooperation. The more open lines of communication are, the more positive the experience will be for the child.

From offices in Augusta-Richmond County we serve clients in neighboring communities including Grovetown, Thomson, Waynesboro, Harlem, Lincolnton, and Wrens. Beyond Augusta we handle cases in Columbia County, Burke County, McDuffie County, Lincoln County and Wilkes County. We also proud to represent military families and veterans from Fort Gordon, Hunter Army Airfield, Fort Stewart, Fort Benning, Fort McPherson and Fort Gillem.