Determining child custody arrangements can be difficult for all children, but when parents have a medically fragile child things get much more complicated. With children who have medical challenges, they often can’t be subjected to the same custody terms as their other siblings. This means that the parents can’t rely on the normal ways of handling child custody.
In all custody cases, the best interests of the children have to be at the center of the decisions. There isn’t one meaning to this, so the entire situation has to be reviewed to determine what to do. Normal factors like stability in the home and the standard of care the child has will matter in cases involving medically fragile children, but there are others that also come into the picture.
One of the primary factors in these cases is which parent is the most familiar with caring for the child. This is especially important if the child has special equipment, e.g., home ventilators, feeding tubes or similar devices. It’s vital to be familiar with the child’s medication routines. Often, one parent is more experienced in these matters than the other.
The availability of transportation is often important, especially if the child has a motorized wheelchair to get around. The chance of both parents having a wheelchair accessible vehicle may be slim.
Parents in a child custody situation with a medically fragile child might have to look at some uncommon resolutions for child custody situations. This might include both parents sharing a vehicle so the child can move around no matter with which parent they’re spending time. Bird’s nest parenting, where the child lives in one home full-time and the parents rotate in and out of it, is another possibility.
It is imperative that you have everything spelled out clearly in your parenting plan. This insures that your medically fragile child, as well as your other children, have the stability and care they need to thrive.