There are millions of disabled Americans – and over six million are raising children. What happens when people with a mental or physical handicap go through a divorce or child custody case? Are their rights protected? Do they risk losing their children to their spouse?
Below, read about three ways that disability could affect your child custody case:
- A disability could be used to discriminate against one parent. Especially in a few nationally covered cases, it seems clear that parents with disabilities may have to fight harder for custody of their children – even if custody is rightfully theirs. Sadly, during a divorce, one spouse might use the other spouse’s disability as a way to gain more time with the children, or to cut the other parent out altogether.
- A disability could make it difficult for a parent to care for his or her child. There are cases in which a disabled parent simply is not able to provide a safe and secure environment for his or her children, even if he or she wishes to. Parents who cannot physically care for their children, or parents who have a mental disability that prevents them from giving their children the environment they need, may not receive custody.
- Giving custody to a disabled parent may or may not be in the best interests of the child. In the end, every case is different and everything comes down to the best interests of the individual child in question. There are no clear-cut answers – each case will be decided by a judge or in mediation based on the facts of your case and the needs of your family. If you are a parent with a disability who is going through a divorce or child custody battle, be sure that you know your rights and that you understand which details of your case may be important.
A Washington child custody lawyer can help you navigate your child custody case and better understand how your disability may affect the outcome. Call Molly B. Kenny today at 425-460-0550.