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Does Having A Disability Mean Losing Custody?

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The popular perception of disabled people is that they can handle very little in terms of responsibilities. This is absolutely a misconception. Generally, disabled people can do anything that an able-bodied person can. This is often especially true for veterans, who may face neglect and discrimination due to a physical disability. Many disabled people are able to parent and provide a loving home without issue.

Discrimination Is Common

While the situation for many disabled people has improved, in recent years, the legacy of prior discrimination has left its mark on society. Every state, Nevada included, has cases in its history of denying parents the right to visitation or custody on the basis of physical or mental disability. It is alleged that living with a disabled parent will be a burden on both the child and society, but too often, no evaluation of any kind is carried out to ascertain whether or not this is fact.

Statistics show that approximately 6.5 percent of parents in the state of Nevada have a disability, and while many of their children do not, some do. If one breaks down the statistics further, one sees a rate of between 6 and 9.5 percent of various counties’ populations in terms of how many parents of minor children are themselves disabled. It is just not tenable to assume that 5-10 percent of the parents in the state are automatically unfit. Your spouse may attempt to tap into this misguided belief if they think it may give them an advantage.

If You Experience Problems

The ADA National Network reports that parents with disabilities are significantly more likely to have interactions with child services personnel than those without, even if no negative reports have been filed about the family or any children in it. Nevada is more progressive than some states, but still has room to grow. Nevada’s sole statement regarding child custody and parental disability is that it may be considered when determining the best interests of the child – which, at least in some cases, is entirely understandable, especially if there is actual evidence that the parent would struggle as a caregiver.

If you believe that you have been unfairly denied custody due to your disability, you have options, but you must act quickly. Family courts have an obligation to truly consider the best interests of the child, and if a disabled parent has been able to show that they can be a fit parent, they ought to be considered such just as much as an able-bodied parent.

Contact A Child Custody Attorney

Because Nevada law says very little about the rights of disabled parents, some judges and officials may not treat a disabled parent in the same way as a parent without disability. If this has happened to you, you need a knowledgeable attorney who will fight for you. The attorneys at the Kainen Law Group are happy to try and help. Call us today to set up an initial appointment.

Resources:

law.cornell.edu/supremecourt/text/274/200

lookingglass.org/pdf/States-Data/Nevada-number-disabled-parents-with-children.pdf

ndalc.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/508_Parenting_Toolkit.pdf

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