What Kind of Illness Can Cause You to Lose Custody?

No one likes getting sick – especially if it is severe and long-lasting. An illness can last for weeks, months, or even years in some cases. During this time, you are prevented from working and earning an income, and you might find it very difficult to care for your children. Even before your illness, you might have had very little free time to work and care for your kids at the same time. But did you know that a serious illness can cause you to lose custody in some cases? This can make a bad situation even worse, and you should know exactly what kind of illnesses can lead to this outcome.

Why it Is in the Child’s Best Interests to Move to a Different Household

First of all, you should understand that the family courts in North Carolina try to do everything they can to serve the child’s best interests. While they might be sympathetic to your situation, your illness will not be a factor in their decision-making process. The same goes for your own personal wishes and desires to keep hold of your children. The family court’s decisions are based entirely on the child’s best interests. If the court becomes aware that your illness is seriously interfering with your ability to care for your child, they may be left with no other choice but to give primary physical custody to your ex. Sometimes, this is genuinely in everyone’s best interests.

What Kinds of Illnesses Can Result in the Loss of Custody?

Generally speaking, the only illnesses that can result in the loss of custody are permanent and severe. You will not have your custody taken away simply because you got the common flu. Even if you become debilitated by some kind of illness, family court judges are likely to make sure that any changes to custody are reversible. This means that when or if you recover, your custody arrangement will go back to normal. For example, if you get glandular fever and it lasts for a month or longer, your ex might get full custody while you recover.

If your illness is clearly permanent, however, your custody arrangement might never go back to normal. Perhaps the most obvious examples are illnesses that affect your cognitive abilities. Dementia or Alzheimer’s can strike early in some parents, making it very difficult to care for children effectively. The same logic applies to serious brain damage, which can affect not only your mind but also physical aspects of your body – such as motor control. Another obvious example is cancer, which might require long hospital stays while you attempt to beat the disease. In situations like these, it might be hard to retain custody.

Can You Lose Custody Because of a Covid-19 Infection?

For the most part, Covid-19 is seen as a somewhat minor illness, and people usually recover within a few days or weeks. Because of this, a covid-19 infection is unlikely to result in the loss of custody for parents. However, the subject of covid-19 can certainly lead to custody issues, especially if parents disagree on things like vaccinations and mask use. In addition, it is worth noting that “long covid” can cause some people to develop lifelong, serious disabilities. If these disabilities are serious and permanent enough, it might cause them to lose custody of their children.

One of the few noteworthy cases occurred back in 2020 when the pandemic was at its height. This involved a Miami ER doctor losing custody of her 4-year-old daughter because she was treating patients. The logic was that she could potentially expose her child to the virus because of her contact with so many patients each day. As a result, a family court in Miami issued an emergency order, giving her ex-husband full physical custody of the daughter. Note that the ER doctor was never actually infected with the virus before this emergency order was issued.

Where Can I Find a Qualified Family Law Attorney in North Carolina?

If you have been searching for an experienced family law attorney in North Carolina, look no further than Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Over the years, we have helped numerous parents with a range of divorce-related issues – including custody disputes. We know that losing your child is something no one ever wants to experience – especially when you are already struggling with a major illness. With our assistance, you can do what is right for your child and fight for your parental rights. Book your consultation today to get started with an effective action plan.