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Addressing the Needs of a Disabled Child in an Illinois Divorce

Hinsdale Family Law AttorneyWhen making decisions about parenting time and parental responsibilities during divorce, Illinois judges and courts are primarily concerned with the best interests of children. However, extra care is needed with cases that involve children with special needs. These children often require increased levels of medical care, educational accommodations, and supervision. 

These needs can impact the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time in several ways. Although it may not always be easy, parents, attorneys, and judges must go the extra mile to ensure that disabled children have their needs met during and after divorce. If you are getting divorced and seeking parental responsibilities for a disabled child, a qualified Illinois child custody attorney can answer your questions and help you understand your options. 

Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

The allocation of parental responsibilities describes the important decision-making powers parents have on behalf of their children. Generally, this includes issues such as a child’s education, religion, healthcare, and extracurricular activities, but for children with special needs, these issues can become substantially more complex as they often require more detail and regular revision. 

Even though one parent may spend more time with the children, parents can split parental responsibilities equally so they can both be active participants in deciding what is best for the child. Finding appropriate educational support, deciding which specialists will treat the child, and understanding how to involve the child in disability-specific sports or musical activities will all be important issues for parents to decide upon. 

Parenting Time

Even though parents love their children dearly, being a full-time caregiver for a disabled child can be exhausting and stressful. Ensuring a child attends all necessary doctor’s appointments, has the daily support they need at school, and is meeting appropriate developmental milestones can place a burden that parents struggle to handle on their own. 

Although parents can split parenting time in many different ways, parents who are initially inclined to request all parenting time themselves may want to take advantage of the other parent’s willingness to share parenting time. Doing so provides parents a meaningful opportunity to cooperate and allows the child to maximize time spent with both parents. 

When both parents work and neither is available to regularly provide childcare during daytime hours, parents may struggle to reach a compromise on a shared parenting time schedule. Sometimes, mediation can be helpful as parents struggle to agree. Other times, courts intervene to and might appoint a guardian ad litem or another child advocate to determine what would be in the child’s best interests. 

Speak with a Hinsdale, IL Parental Responsibilities Lawyer

Taking care of a special needs child is one of the most important responsibilities a parent can ever have. At Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio, our experienced DuPage County family lawyers can help you pursue crucial decision-making responsibilities and parenting time for your child. We will work hard to help you understand the law and position you for a positive outcome. Call our offices today at 630-920-8855 to schedule your free initial consultation. 




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