Generally speaking, parental custody is one of the hot button issues in a divorce. Who gets the children when and how much can be a difficult and painful issue to resolve. When a special needs child is involved the issue seems to become even greater. The reasons for this are relatively simple.
First of all, special need or not, parents love their children. Sometimes as deep and profound as parental love is, its just not always enough when it come to a child with special needs. While it is true that love is important, with special needs children patience, understanding and available time are often the trump card. As a parent of a special needs child seeking divorce, you might be called upon to realistically look beyond your love, swallow hard, and consider what is best for the overall care and future of your child.
Secondly, medical care. On the whole, a special needs child requires more medical care than a typical child. A good insurance plan is important, but that does not take into account the significant time commitment required to take a special needs child back and forth for all their medical appointments. Add to that special therapies and home care and the issue becomes obvious.
Finally, the simple ability to cope with all the unique needs. Special needs children can tax the patience of even the most loving parent. It is a good possibility that your special needs child may never get to the point where they do not need care of some kind. Even if they reach the point of semi-independence, this will only come after years of hard and time consuming work. A parent who realistically examines a divorce involving a special need child and yields greater custody to their spouse, who is better equipped to cope, is not admitting lack of love or care, they are far more often loving their child to the utmost.
It is hard for a parent to admit that someone else can take better care of their children than they can, and that is where contention usually begins. Divorcing parents of a special needs child are called upon to do some deep soul searching, and make certain they are doing what is best for the child and giving them the best quality of life possible.