It’s unfortunate, but it happens; children are sometimes born with debilitating disabilities or chronic ailments. At other times, they may suffer terrible accidents or illness and also suffer disability. In either event, children with disabilities require care, sometimes more so than healthy children. During cases of child custody, measures have to be taken to ensure the welfare of disabled children.
Disabled Child Care
According to the Children’s Act 35 of 2005, “a child with a disability or chronic illness has the right not to be subjected to medical, social, cultural and religious practices that are detrimental to his or her health, well-being, and dignity”.
This means that as a parent or carer of a disabled child, every measure must be taken to accommodate the child to ensure their continued well-being. Furthermore, efforts to include the disabled and chronically ill child in social, religious, cultural and educational activities are also expected. Additionally, any other support needed to promote their own self-reliance is a prerequisite.
Child Care and Custody Disputes
As you may expect, custody and care disputes with regards to disabled and chronically ill children can be a little more difficult than cases involving children in finer fettle. This is because the needs of the disabled child usually mean that more is expected of the carer, and maintenance paid by one parent will usually be costlier than usual.
Courts, as well as legal professionals, will ensure that all decisions are made in the best interests of the child and that the parent in whose care the child is placed is best suited to taking charge of the child’s needs. Disabled children will often require homes with more space, as well as fixtures and features that accommodate their disabilities. Often the parent with the most time available to care for the disabled child will be the preferred carer. In these instances, cooperation between separated parents is usually emphasised to ensure a stable upbringing for the child.
If you require more information regarding child care and child custody for disabled or chronically ill children, then make sure you contact Joselowitz & Andrews Attorneys today. Joselowitz & Andrews Attorneys specialises in all cases of child custody and is well-known throughout South Africa as a specialised practice in the legal field of child custody.