Ask A Lawyer: Does Disability Affect Custody?

Question:

My wife has been a stay at home Mom for 11 years.  I have been disabled for 3 years and my wife has been my caregiver. I know she wants a divorce. She is healthy and has been looking for work.

Can she get custody of my children even though right now she doesn’t have a job? Is there any law determining if a person (like myself) is too disabled to safely have the kids for more than one night? I cannot drive, and I use an electric chair to get around and I am highly fatigued all the time.

 

Answer:

A person can be too disabled to have children for overnight stays or extended stays, depending on the ages of the children and the extent and nature of the person’s disability.  Custody is not dependent on employment. 

Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to fashion a parenting schedule where you have the children on weekends, summers, holidays, and during the day (or night) when she is working – instead of putting them in daycare or babysitters.

 

Erik H. Carter is a Senior Attorney of the Cordell & Cordell, P.C. office in Indianapolis, Indiana as well as the Litigation Manager of both the Indianapolis and Pittsburgh offices. Mr. Carter has practiced since 1993 as an attorney. He is licensed in Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania as well as the Northern District of Indiana and the Southern District of Indiana.

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