Any aspect of life could influence a child custody decision. Courts always attempt to make these rulings in the child’s best interests. Therefore, they will scrutinize the lives of both you and your child. They will take everything into account from the condition of your home, the distance between you and the child’s school, your job schedule, and so on.
Health concerns are a big part of any custody decision. Whether is it you or your child who has health problems, the court will take these issues into consideration.
Here are some broad examples of how health problems can impact a child custody decision.
The Parent Has Health Problems
Courts want to know that kids are receiving the best care possible under the circumstances. If a parent has health issues, here are some issues the court will consider.
The Ability to Keep Up with the Kids
Kids require constant care and attention, and a chronically ill parent may be unequipped to give it to them. If you are transitioning into singledom, the court wants to see that you have the energy to meet your kids’ needs at home.
Moreover, they also have busy lives that they can’t always manage themselves. They have school, church, extracurricular activities, and so on. A parent’s chronic illness can have a direct impact on these important activities. Courts want to see that parents can meet a child’s social and educational demands.
It’s difficult for chronically ill people to maintain a steady job. Even when they can, they must take time off work for doctors’ appointments, treatments, and so on.
In some cases, they have understanding employers who give them room to take care of themselves, but these bosses also expect all the work to be done on time.
The court will consider anyone’s job schedule in a custody ruling, especially when necessary make-up hours keep parents from their kids.
Managing an illness can be like having a second full-time job. People see doctors regularly, and they need time to nurse themselves at home. As with all other scheduling concerns, courts want to see that you have time enough for the kids.
The Child Has Health Problems
Many of the same concerns listed above also apply when kids have special health needs. Here are some examples.
Health affects a parent’s schedule, but so does their child’s. They need to be able to take time off from work for appointments. Time at home is also important, as they will need to be available to meet the child’s needs.
A court will judge a parent’s fitness in being a caretaker. It wants to see that parents are equipped to handle the child’s needs. This will include their knowledge of the illness and the know-how to treat it.
In some cases, care extends to the home itself. Houses may require modification to make them more accessible to the kids. Even storage is important, as some kids always need medical supplies on hand.
Our firm is here to help parents negotiate fair child custody terms, regardless of the challenges involved. Contact Russell S. Hershkowitz, L.L.C. today by reaching out online or calling us at (407) 753-4111.