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Can you get custody if you have a disability?

On Behalf of | Apr 5, 2022 | Family Law

Living with a disability is not something that ever slowed you down when parenting your children in the past, but as soon as custody issues came up during your divorce, your spouse said that they wanted full custody. When you pressed them on why they wanted that, they told you that living with your disability would make it hard for you to parent your children without an abled person in the home.

Now, you have a very real problem to deal with. You have to determine if your disability could be used against you in court and if your disability could negatively influence child custody.

Legally, your disability should not lead to discrimination

By law, it’s not legal to tell one parent that they cannot continue to have custody rights just because they have a disability. If a parent previously had paraplegia, for example, and had no trouble raising their children in the past, then there is no reason that this disability could play a significant role in determining their ability to care for their children now.

That being said, a judge does need to do what is in the best interests of the children. If one parent is physically unable to care for an infant on their own, for example, it may be better to encourage monitored or supervised custody times to be sure that the time together can be enjoyed and that the child is not at risk of injury.

What should you do if you have a disability and want to prove you can parent your children?

If you have a disability but know that you can parent your children safely, it’s time to start collecting evidence to support your side of the case. Collecting testimonials or statements from others who have watched you with your children may help. Similarly, having medical documents showing that there is no reason that you’d be unable to care for your children adequately could help if a doctor is willing to write something to the court.

You don’t deserve to be discriminated against and can fight for the time you want with your children.