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Can mental health issues affect child custody and visitation?

| Feb 10, 2021 | family law |

Parents in Ocean City and the surrounding area often find themselves concerned about their children’s safety and well-being. This is readily apparent in the child custody context. Parental substance abuse, domestic violence, and parental alienation are very real issues that can have a profound impact on your child’s welfare. Mental health issues, too, can play a role. Given the prevalence of certain mental health conditions, you need to be informed about how these matters may play a role in your child custody case.

Does a mental health diagnosis always affect child custody?

Not every mental health diagnosis will affect a child custody or visitation arrangement. Most people who have a mental health condition are fully capable of obtaining effective treatment so that they can manage the condition and their day-to-day lives without any problems. Some parents, though, either fail to seek out treatment for their condition or they fail to abide by treatment recommendations. Depending on the mental health condition at hand, this can lead to erratic, aggressive, or depressive behaviors that could put your child at risk.

Seeking a change to child custody or visitation

If you think that the mental health condition of your child’s other parent is negatively impacting your child, then you may want to reconsider your child custody or visitation arrangement. By presenting evidence of how the condition has created a substantial change in circumstances, you might be able to show that a change in parental care and contact is necessary to protect your child’s best interest. This might take some legal maneuvering, especially if you need some sort of mental health assessment or access to mental health records, which is why it’s often beneficial for parents who are in this position to seek out legal assistance.

Keep the focus on your children

There’s no shame in having a mental health diagnosis. However, when a condition of any sort affects one’s ability to safely care for a child, action must be taken. If you’re an Orange City parent and find yourself of a similar mind, or you need to defend yourself against allegations negatively impacting your child, then now may be the time to speak with a legal professional who can help you advocate for your position and the best interests of your child.

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