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.
- Jones, G. (2017, March 9). How mental illness impacts child custody: What you need to know. Retrieved from https://www.goldbergjones-or.com/child-custody/mental-illness-impacts-child-custody
- Kvarnstrom, E. (2017, May 2). Mental illness and child custody: The impact of treatment. Retrieved from https://www.bridgestorecovery.com/blog/mental-illness-and-child-custody-the-impact-of-treatment
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