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Child Custody Parenting Time and Support in Cases of Special Needs

On Behalf of | Jun 21, 2021 | Child Custody and Visitation

What happens in San Diego divorces which involve child custody parenting time and support in cases of special needs?  Issues associated with child custody and parenting time are often some of the most contentious challenges of a divorce.  Each child has their own unique circumstances, age and needs which must be addressed during the process of child custody and parenting time negotiations, mediation or litigation.

Child custody parenting time and support for a special needs child obviously requires additional focus for the parties as well as the Court.  There are obviously issues of additional costs which might not be present in other cases.  However, the best interests of a special needs child often focus upon the preparation of multiple households to accommodate the special needs of the child, the present and future medical and custodial decisions which must be made in the life of the child as well as questions of support after the child reaches the age of majority.

In most cases, child support ends when the child reaches the age of majority or graduates high school, whichever is later.  Child custody parenting time and support in cases of special needs must consider the costs and needs of the child long after the age of majority.

Flexibility is an important asset in these cases.  Many children with special needs struggle understand, process or control the emotional impact of a sad or negative event.  All children have moments where they lose control in a fit of anger, sadness or disappointment.  However, in many special needs cases the child will have difficulty managing their own emotions.

This often plays out during visitation and parenting time after the divorce is completed.  It may be time for parent “a” to pick up the child for the weekend.  It is not uncommon for a child with special needs to become disturbed and emotional about the transition.  This obviously causes a great deal of sadness for parent “a” who was looking forward to seeing their child.

Child custody parenting time and support in cases of special needs must be flexible to be able to meet the changing needs of the child.  It must be flexible enough to allow the co-parents to work through difficult issues such as unwanted transitions without creating an opportunity for one parent to take advantage of the other.

Presently, California Family Law does not require child support to continue past the age of 18 for a special needs child. This is why it so important to work with the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.  It is essential to discuss all issues such as how important medical decisions will be made as well as who will be financially responsible for the child after the age of majority.  Parents may agree to continue child support, share specific expenses or manage the needs of a special child into adulthood.

Child custody parenting time and support for a special needs child in a San Diego divorce case requires experience, care and substantial legal skill. Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.