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Extreme injuries and child custody and support

Extreme injuries and personal injury cases are difficult and parents with injured children often bear significant burdens. Extreme injuries can affect a family going through a divorce, especially when both parents are seeking custody of the child and want to care for their best interests.

A child may experience a mental or physical injury because of a traumatic event, and although one parent thinks they are able to raise their child without the other parent’s assistance, the challenges those parents face can be significant. And, as children grow older, their needs change, and when they suffer from permanent injuries the routine approach to child custody and support may not work.  

Child custody and the best interests of children

Family courts and judges in almost all states make their custody determinations based on a variety of statutory factors that represent the best interests of a child, the common legal standard for custody determinations. Where your child may be injured, paralyzed, or have a variety of special needs related to an extreme injury, a parent’s ability to satisfy the child’s needs may require a unique approach to parenting and custody and visitation arrangements.

What happens when both parents think they can handle the special needs of a child with extreme injuries? There are all kinds of scenarios and options in family and probate court to handle the needs of a child with extreme injuries when they grow older into adulthood.

Children with special needs for support

Child support payments are usually based on your statutory guidelines, and the court will most likely order child support based on a percentage of the income and/or available resources of the non-custodial parent. While most child support orders are based on guideline support, in cases involving extreme injury and medical needs, child support may be ordered outside the traditional guidelines. More specifically, the duration of support may be extended.

Most child support obligations end when the child turns 18 years of age or graduates from high school. In cases involving children with special needs due to extreme injury cases, the court may order a child support obligor to continue making payments into adulthood. There may also be state and federal assistance available for the support of a child with extreme injury challenges.

If you are in the stage of getting a divorce and you have a child who becomes injured it is important for your injury attorney and a family attorney to talk with one another.