Pembroke, NC asked in Family Law and Child Custody for South Carolina

Q: Can autism cause extenuating circumstances in a child custody cause ? If child is getting diagnosis during the case?

My two year old is being diagnosed with autism and speech delay. The biological father has been in and out of her life since birth and now has been no contact with the child in question since march and it's now almost September... By the time the next court hearing happens it will be close to 9 months no contact and at this point I feel the childs being used as a toy for social media and he just comes and goes whenever.... Now he's completely disappeared on this child again..... 6 months no contact ATM.

And now with the autism diagnosis her mental health can't be held at the same level as a normal child. The tiniest things upset this child's mental state... Example telling that child they can't scale a wall makes them have a mental break down for 25 minutes causing them to bite and hit themselves.... So does their diagnosis help my case of proving in their best interest we terminated his rights to keep from mentally traumatizing my child.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Megan Hunt Dell
Megan Hunt Dell
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • Charleston, SC
  • Licensed in South Carolina

A: S.C. Code Ann. Section 63-15-240(B) requires the Family Court to consider the best interests of the child when determining custody, including the temperamental and developmental needs of a child, the capacity and disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child, and the past and current interaction and relationship with each parent. Your child being diagnosed with autism is relevant to determination of custody and visitation, as is the infrequency of contact between your child and the father. However, there is a different set of standards for terminating a parent's rights, and there is not enough information here to help. You should seek the advice of an experienced Family Court lawyer for specific guidance.

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