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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Massachusetts disabled parents fight for child custody

The issue of child custody comes up in many divorce cases in Massachusetts. When it does, parents seek to create a child custody agreement that acts in the best interests of their children. As many in our state know, making that decision can be hard for couples that find it difficult to agree on what is best.

This disagreement on child custody matters can be compounded if one or both of the parents of a child suffers from a disability. In such cases, the disabled parent sometimes finds that they are discriminated against due to their disability. This, one report says, can stem from the fact that many parental investigators and judges are unfamiliar with the abilities of those who are disabled to care for children.

There are 6.1 million children in our country with one or more parents who are disabled. This number reflects those who suffer physically as well as those with mental or intellectual issues. Parents with mental health issues often find that they lose child custody battles and children are removed from their homes as often as 80 percent of the time.

Child custody matters are difficult for every family in Massachusetts, regardless of whether the parents are disabled. Finding an agreement that can allow both parents time with the kids and create loving homes can be a challenge for families that have difficulty communicating between parents. However, many with disabilities assert that they are able to care for their children as well as those who are well-bodied and that the disability alone should not be a factor in making a child custody decision.

Source: Huffington Post, "Disabled Parents Often Lose Custody Of Children, Report Finds," David Crary, Nov. 26, 2012

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