mental health child custody

Mental health and child custody – Often concerns for someone’s physical health are natural, expected and people don’t think twice about talking about any illnesses and or injuries they may have.  Mental health unfortunately carries a different stigma and people don’t want to talk about it, acknowledge it, or get treated for it.  Many people suffer from mental health issues, so statically speaking it is obvious that many parents suffer from mental heath issues.

That being said, how does this affect a pending child custody case? In the blog we will talk about it. Like all of our blogs however, this is intended to provide general information only and not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a family law attorney.

How is the parent handling their mental health concern?

In life you are dealt certain hands but how you play them is what ends up being the difference maker.  If you have a diagnosed mental health condition or even if you are just being accused of having one. There are many factors that will be considered in a child custody trial including but not limited to the following:

  • Are you receiving treatment; including medication and counseling?
  • Are you following all of the recommendations and suggestions of your primary caregiver?
  • Are you communicating with the other parent about what is going on and how it can affect the child?

Mental illness will not automatically be held against you but how you take care of yourself just might.

Best interest of the child still outweighs everything

In all child custody actions, the main consideration centers around what is in the best interest of the child, and when it comes to mental health it is no different.  We often have to remind parents that a child custody case is about the child and not about them.  Which means it is about he child’s health and wellbeing and not yours.

That being said, not all mental conditions are created equally. If for some reason you are found to be a danger to your child because if a mental illness, this creates a specific situation. It would not automatically exclude you from getting some physical custody but it may require you to have a period of supervised visitation.

The Courts want the child to have both parents involved in their life whenever possible

Family Court judges are not there to be judgmental or break up families.  The Courts want both parents to be involved in the child’s life as much as possible and as much as it is in the best interest of the child. Having a mental illness, by itself, is not going to cause you to lose custody of your children, and it is not going to allow the other parent to keep you from your children.

If you are in need of a Child Custody attorney in Charlotte, North Carolina or the surrounding areas, contact us.

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