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How A Physical Handicap May Impact Your Custody Hearing

When it comes to custody matters in California divorce law, there are a number of common situations that might take place. These may be regarding the working status of either of the two parents, their income, and their capability to take care of the child. There are many factors that are taken into consideration by the California family court when awarding custody. This post is about one such factor which though rare, is worth knowing about.

Physical handicap is a factor that the California family court can take into consideration when awarding custody. As such, for those to whom this is applicable, should know everything about this factor and the effect it might have on the ruling.

When talking about physical handicap, we are talking about the physical handicap of a parent, of a child, or of a sibling.

Parent with a handicap

The California court does not base its decision of custody solely on the fact that a parent is physically handicapped. It, in fact, looks to the family as a whole to see how the handicap affects the entire family. The judge looks into the matter as whether or not the handicap affects the child or their best interests. The court does not consider handicap to be a hindrance when ruling. The decision is based more on the degree to which a parent with a handicap can care for the child.

Sibling with a handicap

Sometimes the sibling’s handicap plays a major role in determining custody. For instance, if one of the siblings has rage issues and is overcome by bouts of rages which can lead them to harm the other sibling; then custody of the two siblings could be split. The disability of one of the siblings might take up so much time of the parent that they might be unable to take care of the healthy child. This would be another case where the custody might be split. As always the answer depends on where the child’s best interests are served.

Child with a handicap

When the child who is the subject of the custody dispute is handicapped, then the court looks into matters that affect the child’s best interests. The court identifies the child’s handicap and identifies the amount of care needed by the child, and parent’s ability to offer and take care of the child’s emotional, physical, medical, and financial needs.

Custody issues are not a black and white area. There are many complexities and nuances that come into play. Each case comes with its own unique circumstances and rulings are given out likewise.

Getting divorced in California can be complicated.  Download our free eBook, 18 Important Things to Know About California Divorce to educate yourself on the process.  

divorce_attorneyGerald A. Maggio is an experienced Orange County divorce and family law lawyer and family law attorney located in Irvine, California, serving the Orange County and Riverside areas. Mr. Maggio assists clients with legal issues including divorce, legal separation, divorce mediation, child custody, prenuptial agreements, stepparent adoptions, and other family law issues. Mr. Maggio has practiced law in California since 1999, and founded The Maggio Law Firm in 2005, focusing exclusively on divorce and family law matters.

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