Having a physical limitation might make it harder to perform specific tasks, but it usually does not stop disabled parents from loving and raising their children into upstanding adults. Even so, some disabled parents might fear getting unfavorable outcomes in child custody battles because of their condition.
Does disability matter in child custody?
The court generally wants to ensure the child’s best interests when deciding custody. To this end, they often consider all factors to see if a parent can provide their children a positive, secure and stable environment. These factors may include the parents’ financial capacity, availability, and physical and mental health.
The court generally does not discriminate against people with disabilities. However, disability might become a factor if it prevents the parent from being an effective guardian. It might also matter if the parent’s condition endangers the child, such as a severe mental illness that makes them violent.
Can a parent lose custody because of a sudden disability?
Sudden and unforeseen accidents and illnesses can leave a person disabled for the long term. If this happens to a parent who previously had custody of their children, the other parent may ask the court to modify the custody arrangement. Should the court determine that staying with the disabled parent is likely detrimental to the children, they might decide to adjust the custody order in favor of the other parent.
Parents need a strong advocate who can help convince the court that they can raise their children, even if they have disabilities. A skilled family law attorney can help parents fight and protect their rights in court and enhance their chances of securing a favorable outcome.