Disabled Parents in Florida and Nationwide Often Face Uphill Battle in Child Custody Matters

According to the National Council on Disability, about one in ten kids in the United States have at least one parent who is disabled. In addition, about 4.1 million handicapped parents are reportedly caring for a child under the age of 18. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990 to protect the rights of handicapped citizens, disabled parents throughout the country still allegedly face a great deal of difficulty maintaining custody of their children. More than half of states purportedly allow a parent’s rights to be terminated based on a real or perceived disability. In addition, up to 80 percent of parents who suffer an intellectual or psychiatric disability allegedly lose custody of their offspring.

Each state reportedly allows disability to be considered by a court when determining child custody issues. In some states, diseases such as cancer are also taken into account. Additionally, disabled adults purportedly face discrimination with regard to adoption in most cases. Robyn Powell, an attorney for the National Council on Disability, stated she believes individuals with a disability may have the ability to adjust to the stresses associated with becoming a parent more easily than others because they are already accustomed to adapting. Powell said such parents should be supported instead of punished.

Powell stated that the number of disabled parents across the nation is expected to grow over the next few years as many wounded warriors return from overseas deployment. She also reportedly believes both private and public organizations should work hard to support disabled parents who require additional assistance and to ensure that their parental rights are protected. According to Powell, child welfare organizations throughout the nation should begin to assume disabled parents are capable of raising their children despite that they may require additional community support.

The question of who will care for your children in the event of a marital split is generally an emotional one. Most parents worry about not only losing custody of their kids, but how much time they will have to spend with them throughout the week and on important dates such as birthdays. Since October 2008, divorcing parents in Florida must enter into a court approved time-sharing agreement that states exactly how much time a minor child will spend with each parent. In the alternative, a family law judge will create a time-sharing schedule for parents who cannot agree. A Florida family court will normally examine a number of factors when considering any child custody award or agreement. A hardworking family law attorney can explain the process in more detail.

Attorney Sandy T. Fox is a skilled Broward County family lawyer who focuses his practice exclusively on family law matters. Mr. Fox is available to assist you with all of your family law needs including adoption, child support, child custody, alimony, divorce, name changes, domestic violence, paternity, and prenuptial agreements. He regularly represents clients who are located throughout South Florida including Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties. To speak with a dedicated family law advocate today, please call the Law Office of Sandy T. Fox toll free at (800) 596-0579 or contact us through our website.

More Blog Posts:

Sesame Street Finally Addresses Divorce in Florida and Nationwide, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, December 10, 2012
Woman in the Midst of Messy Divorce Battle Arrested for Vandalizing Duval County Courthouse, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, November 23, 2012
Additional Resources:

Why Parents with Disabilities Are Losing Custody of their Kids, by Bonnie Rochman, Time