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Points to consider for special needs child custody

All child custody cases require that parents take the child's needs into account. When you have a child who has special needs, especially children who have complex medical needs, you might find that you have some very difficult decisions to make about custody matters.

A special needs child requires extra care, which means that the parent who has the child at any given time must be ready, willing and able to handle their needs. While you and your ex were still living together, splitting the duties might have been possible. After the divorce, each of you will need to know how to handle situations that arise.

Medical needs

A child who has complex medical needs might need special equipment to live. It is imperative that both parents are trained to use the equipment unless there is going to be a caregiver there to ensure that the equipment is used properly.

Another consideration is that a child with complex medical needs might have intricate medication schedules. The parent who has the child in their custody must ensure that the schedule is followed exactly as intended. The same goes for feeding schedules for a child who is dependent upon a feeding tube.

Transportation needs

Special needs children might need specific things to be transported from one location to another. For example, a child who is in a motorized wheelchair would need a vehicle that is able to transport the chair. Another consideration is moving medical equipment around.

In this case, it might come down to one parent having to always be the one to move the child around. If you and your ex can work together, it might be possible to share a vehicle so that the parent who has the child always has the appropriate vehicle.

Other considerations

Some special needs children need special sleeping arrangements and other accommodations. If you and your ex are able to do so, it might be better to keep the child in one home while you and your ex rotate which parent stays with the child. Essentially, this is the reverse of having the child move from one home to another.

All of these issues, as well things like education decisions, have to be factored into the child custody order. Taking care of these matters now can help to make your life a little easier down the road since you won't have to make decisions in the midst of a potential crisis or stressful situation.

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