Can Mental Health Issues Be Used Against You In a Child Custody Dispute?

Child Custody

Infographic Text: Can mental health issues be used against you in a child custody dispute?

Yes, but only if your condition affects your ability to parent your child.  You are more likely to lose custody if your diagnosis has caused you to:

  • Neglect your child’s basic needs.
  • Have episodes of aggression or self-harm.
  • Be unable to function independently.
  • Create an environment that is unsafe for children.

A diagnosis alone cannot cause you to lose custody of your child. Plenty of adults with mental health issues can be safe and attentive parents. For example, if a parent is managing their bipolar symptoms in therapy and has no history of abusive behavior, then a judge is unlikely to deny them custody.

Seeking therapy for your symptoms will likely help you in a custody case. Getting treatment shows you are taking steps to address any behavioral issues. While therapy won’t guarantee you retain custody after a divorce, it can reduce your symptoms and help you be a better parent overall.


  1. Jones, G. (2017, March 9). How mental illness impacts child custody: What you need to know. Retrieved from
  2. Kvarnstrom, E. (2017, May 2). Mental illness and child custody: The impact of treatment. Retrieved from

© Copyright 2018 All rights reserved.

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

  • Leave a Comment
  • Bella M.

    Bella M.

    December 17th, 2018 at 12:01 PM

    This is such an important thing to be discussing. Thank you for sharing
    wildflower therapy team

  • john


    January 19th, 2019 at 8:57 AM

    Thanks, for sharing this information with us. I really found this helpful and I also believe that diagnosis alone cannot cause you to lose custody of your child.

Leave a Comment

By commenting you acknowledge acceptance of's Terms and Conditions of Use.

* Indicates required field.

GoodTherapy uses cookies to personalize content and ads to provide better services for our users and to analyze our traffic. By continuing to use this site you consent to our cookies.