Parents with disabilities and child custody – As you might know through some of our earlier entries, North Carolina family courts consider the best interests of the child standard when dealing with cases involving child custody. When a case involves a parent with a disability, the court may take their disability into consideration when it determines the amount of custody that each parent will be awarded. This entry will discuss some of the factors that might be considered by a court when the court is presented with evidence that one (or both) of the parents who are seeking custody of a child might suffer from a disability.
Physical Disability vs. Intellectual Disability
While having a disability alone is not sufficient evidence to bar a party from having custody with their child, the court’s greater concern is that the disability may affect a parent’s ability to take care of the child.
A parent’s physical disability may be relevant if it can be shown that the disability prevents them from effectively taking care of the child. For example, if the disability forces the parent to take certain medications which might alter the parent’s state of mind or abilities to function, this could be used to show that the physical disability impacts the welfare of the child.
An intellectual disability may be more heavily considered by the court, especially if the disability may place the child in an unhealthy or dangerous environment. A parent who might be suffering from an intellectual disability is more likely to lose custody of their child for these reasons, if they can be proven to have an impact on the welfare of the child.
Rights of Disabled Parents to Have Custody
If a court is not inclined to provide a disabled parent with their desired level of custody, it is important for the disabled parent to know that they should still have the right to a certain level of visitation with the child and the right to still be an important part of the child’s life.
Consider setting up a consultation with a family law attorney at Gilles Law, PLLC. You can reach us at 980-272-8438 at our office in Uptown Charlotte. We invite your inquiries.
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