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Child Custody Arrangements for Special Needs Children

Parenting a child is one of the most demanding tasks an adult takes on. However, parenting a child who has special needs because of a physical, emotional or cognitive condition is even more challenging. Along with professional help, special needs children often require accommodations at home and at school, and finding the most useful education program or daily routine can be a long, hit-or-miss process. Making the best child custody arrangements for special needs children after a divorce is not easy, either.

Texas family court uses the same standard for every child custody agreement — does the agreement protect the best interests of the child? Safeguarding the best interests of a special needs child may require the divorcing parents to make unusual compromises. For instance, an autistic child may not be comfortable spending half the week in a new, unfamiliar environment so shared child custody would not be the best option.

Some considerations in child custody and support arrangements for special needs children may include:

  • Ability of the child to adjust to new environment
  • Maintaining continuity of special education programs
  • Access to professional medical care and counseling
  • Necessary accommodations in the home environment
  • Medical, therapeutic and educational expenses

Providing care for a special needs child is usually expensive, so expect the child support award to reflect this.

Special needs children can be especially vulnerable to disruptions in their daily lives — such as a divorce. An understanding family-law attorney can help with your child custody proceeding offer by offering guidance that protects your legal rights and the well-being of your child.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Lubbock. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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