Custody of the Special Needs Child

sneiderman-divorce-law-icon-purpleWhen you have a special needs child, determining custody as part of ending your marriage can be a complex process. Meeting the unique needs of these special children impacts the resolution of every other legal issue.

As a mother of a special needs child, I am uniquely qualified to create custody plans that provide for the best interest of your child. This includes the child’s therapeutic, emotional, and financial needs that will affect every aspect of the rest of his or her life.


Ohio Law and Custody of the Special Needs Child: The Basics



Custody issues are approached the same way for a special needs child and a typical child. This means you end with a specific schedule, such as shared parenting or standard visitation.

  • A typical child is emancipated upon turning 18 or graduating from high school, whichever occurs later. Emancipation means that child support terminates, the possession schedule ends, and the court no longer has jurisdiction over the child.
  • The special needs child, however, is known as a “castle child.” That means the child will never become independent or legally emancipated.
  • Because special needs children are not emancipated, they are entitled to child support for the rest of their lives.
  • Likewise, custody arrangements for the special needs child do not end. The possession schedule continues for the duration of the parents’ lives.

If you have a special needs child, you need a child custody attorney with knowledge in this area. Lisa’s experience with custody of the special needs child will give you the peace of mind you need during this uncertain time. Contact her today to learn more.


Ohio Custody of the Special Needs Child: Did You Know?

At age 18, a special needs child is entitled to Social Security benefits. But if that child receives child support, it negates the right to Social Security. A special needs trust can enable the child to receive both sources of income.