Kevin Qualls Family Law
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Custody considerations for special needs children

As an Orange County parent who has been through it knows, any custody dispute or dispute over parenting time is stressful, even when the parents are able to get along reasonably well. There are just a lot of details that have to be worked out, and there are often inherently a lot of emotions involved.

For parents with children of special needs, the issues of custody and visitation can be even more difficult to work through. Like any other parents in the same situation, they, or a judge, will have to decide where the child will live, how often the other parent will see the child, who will make decisions and the like. However, there will also be some additional considerations unique to the child's special needs.

For instance, one consideration could be who will care for the child once the child reaches adulthood. When a child has significant challenges, he or she may not be able to leave his or her parents' care the minute he or she becomes a legal adult. Moreover, some California children may already require the assistance of professional care or may even be staying in a facility dedicated for that purpose. Such issues also must get addressed.

On a related point, a parenting plan will have to account for certain other aspects of the child's upbringing. Medical care and education may have to be addressed in particular detail, and, on a related point, the plan may also need to guide the parents as to how they plan to deal with public benefits or other means of financing the child's care.

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Kevin Qualls Family Law
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