Child Custody Attorneys Serving the St. Louis, Missouri Area
As a parent of a special needs child, you have always done what is best for your children. However, if you are facing a divorce, you may no longer have sole legal or physical custody of your child, and your ex-spouse may not agree with the decisions you make to protect the health and well-being of your child.
At Kallen Law Firm, LLC, we help parents of children with autism and other disabilities with the sensitive legal problems they encounter in relation to child custody, child support, and other family law issues. The goal of our child custody attorneys is to protect your rights and the best interests of your special needs child. For those living throughout the St. Louis area, including in Ballwin, Chesterfield, Clayton, Creve Coeur, and West County, contact one of our St. Louis family law and child custody lawyers today to learn more about how we can help.
Divorce and Special Needs Children
In a family without children or with no special needs children, divorce can be a major disruption and upheaval in the family life. However, in families with special needs children, the disruption of regular routines, changes in family living arrangements, and other adjustments can be very challenging. As time progresses, there are many issues and difficult decisions that will need to be made and throughout all of these child custody decisions, your child’s needs should be the primary concern as well as preserving the special relationship you have with your son or daughter.
Child Custody Attorneys and Medical Decisions
It is not unusual in cases of a divorce for parents to disagree on the proper medical course of treatment for a special needs child. In fact in many cases, even the medical experts may offer conflicting opinions. After a divorce, the parents will have to make choices about medical treatment, and it is important that the child custody attorney find a solution that ensures the continued best treatment for the child.
Child Custody Attorneys and Medical Expenses
In addition to questions about appropriate medical treatment, medical expenses can be a point of contention on divorces with special needs children. The cost of health care for special needs children is higher, and some things like adaptive equipment or certain types of therapy may carry a higher out-of-pocket expense. It is important that payment of medical expenses be resolved in cases with special needs children. A child custody attorney can help resolve these matters more easily.
For many special needs children, the medical factors are only a small part of the overall child. Educational decisions must also be made, and these can be complicated when the child is qualified for special education services. Services covered by an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) can vary tremendously from one child to another, and when a couple divorces, it is important that a decision is made regarding which parent manages interaction with the school system, or whether any special schooling is required.
Physical Custody Considerations
There are some unique challenges when looking at physical custody for a special needs child. For example, if the child will be expected to spend time in the homes of both parents, are both homes fully equipped to accommodate the child's special needs? If not, consideration must be given to alternative visitation or physical custody arrangements. A child custody attorney will help ensure all considerations are taken into account.
In some cases, the parent with primary physical custody may spend so much time caring for the child that he or she will require additional spousal support as this interferes with their ability to work. Our child custody attorneys can help you determine the level of spousal support that is necessary for the needs of the child and the client to be met.
Contact Our St. Louis Child Custody Attorneys Today
If you are the parent of a special needs child and are facing divorce, we are here to help you explore your legal options. Contact us online or by phone at 314-880-2170 today to speak with one of our experienced St. Louis child custody attorneys.