Sick Parents: How Physical Health Affects Child Custody in Massachusetts

Sick Parents: How Physical Health Affects Child Custody in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, judges believe that parents should be physically able to care for their children. When awarding custody, they may decide that a parent should not receive primary custody as a result of their questionable physical health. This is definitely something you should keep in mind as you approach your divorce in Massachusetts, especially if you are currently suffering from some kind of health issue.

Even if you are sick or dealing with physical impairments of some kind, you still stand a strong chance of a favorable legal outcome in matters related to child custody. Enlist the help of a qualified, experienced divorce attorney in Massachusetts to help you paint yourself in the best possible light and increase your chances of spending more time with your children following your divorce.

Why Physical Health is Important

 In the eyes of a judge presiding over a child custody case in Massachusetts, the most important consideration is the child’s best interests. These judges want to do what is right for the child, and they take almost no other factors into account, including the wishes and desires of both parents. When assessing the physical health of each parent, judges want to make sure that they are able to adequately care for their children long into the future.

Not Every Health Issue Will Affect Child Custody Decisions

 For a health issue to have a negative effect on a parent’s child custody battle, it must stop them from being an effective caretaker. This means that many physical health issues will have no effect whatsoever on child custody. However, there are some health issues that clearly present problems for a parent as they try to take care of their children. These include terminal illnesses, such as cancer. If a parent is receiving treatments and spending most of their time in hospital, a judge may decide that it makes more sense for a healthy parent to take primary custody.

What Happens if a Parent Gets Sick After the Divorce?

 Even if both parents are healthy when the custody agreement is established, this agreement can still be modified years after the divorce is finalized if one parent gets sick. A judge may decide that it is in everyone’s best interests for the child to start living with a healthy parent, even if that parent had not been previously granted primary physical custody. In some cases, these modifications can be temporary and reversible. In other words, the sick parent only loses primary custody for the duration of their medical treatments. When they recover fully, the modification is reversed and they are granted primary custody once again.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified, Experienced Family Law Attorney

 If you have been searching the Massachusetts area for a qualified, experienced divorce attorney who can help you with these matters, look no further than the Law Offices of Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty. We are familiar with the unique challenges associated with child custody battles, including issues related to the physical health of parents. Your health issues should not stop you from spending time with your children, and we can help you pursue a favorable legal outcome. Reach out and book your consultation today. 413-732-8356