Child custody disputes in divorce cases may be emotionally trying and legally challenging for any parent. The particular issues raised in custody proceedings can be as unique as the parties involved in a case themselves. Physical attributes of both the parents and the children involved can have a bearing on how the custody dispute is resolved.
Parents with physical disabilities may face some obstacles in a custody battle that other divorcing parents would not. Depending on the nature and extent of the disability, a parent’s right to maintain custody or retain visitation rights could be at risk—especially if they are not given fair and full representation in court.
If you are facing custody issues in your divorce, our family law attorneys in Panama City may help you understand how a physical disability could affect your case, and help you protect your rights and the best interests of your family. Continue reading for more information—when you are ready to secure dedicated representation in Florida, contact The Virga Law Firm, P.A.!
Common Legal Problems Regarding Physical Disability & Custody
A parent with physical disability may face the contention that the disability prevents him or her from being a proper, fit person who is able to care for a minor. Don’t worry—hundreds of thousands of individuals with physical disabilities are able to maintain primary custody of their children. These include parents with profound disabilities like deafness or blindness.
Physical Disabilities & Totality of Circumstances in Child Custody
The success of a custody dispute may depend on how well a disabled parent is able to demonstrate to the judge that he or she is a fit and capable parent who will protect and foster the best interests of the child. Family courts review many factors and parental attributes, such as:
- The parent’s labor expectations and physical limitations
- The nature and extent of the physical limitation
- The resources available to assist the parent with tasks
- The physical and emotional needs of the child
- The age, abilities, and capabilities of the child
Judicial Standard to Evaluate Custodial Placement
Family law courts in Florida apply a standard that focuses on what is in the best interests of a minor child in a custody dispute. These custodial placement decisions are made by evaluating all facts and circumstances of the family in order to determine what child custody scenario will protect and advance the best interests of the child.
Physical disability is not itself a disadvantage; parents who are able to prove they can protect and advance the best interests of their child have a strong chance of receiving a fair custody arrangement.
Historical Perspective of Physically Disabled Parents
Historically, the ability of a disabled parent to obtain primary custody of a child in divorce proceedings was fairly difficult. In some cases, there was even evidence of legal and judicial bias against awarding primary custody to a person with notable physical challenges. With the advent of progressive legislation, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), physically disabled parents in Florida enjoy greater success in winning custody of their children in divorce proceedings.
Be prepared for any obstacle you may face in a divorce child custody dispute.
Our family lawyer in Panama City has more than 10 years of experience handling custody issues. Schedule a consultation with The Virga Law Firm, P.A. online!