Having a child with special needs is difficult. When things don't work out with you and the child's other parent, you are thrust into a situation where you have to combine the difficulty of raising a special needs child with the difficulty of child custody orders. This is a perfect storm of sorts that can really make your life complicated.
What factors do I need to consider for my special needs child?
You need to focus on the quality of the time you spend with the child instead of focusing on making sure that each parent has equal time with the child. There are a lot of considerations that you have to think about when you are dividing time with the child. For example, a child who needs a special bed or medical devices at night might not be able to go back and forth between houses. Instead, one parent will probably have to deal with having the child during the day and returning the child to the other parent at night. In some cases, the parents might be able to work out a deal where the parents switch places instead of the child switching places.
What other decisions must be made now?
Special needs children often have complex medical and educational needs. Deciding which parent will make these decisions or how the parents will work together to make these decisions can help to head off problems in the future. The more information you include in the child custody agreement for your special needs child, the better you are likely going to be able to handle the child custody situation as your child grows.
Source: Health Care News, "Custody of a Special-needs Child Sometimes, It’s Better to Focus on Quality Parent Time, Not Quantity," Melissa R. Gillis, Esq., accessed March 30, 2017