Will My Mental Health Issues Stop Me From Seeing My Kids?
In today’s uncertain world, mental health issues are more common than ever before. The WHO recently reported that anxiety and depression increased by 25% during the pandemic. Of course, mental health was already a major concern in the United States even before Covid-19, with suicidal ideation and substance abuse steadily climbing over the decades. Because of these trends, many parents may find themselves struggling with mental health issues as they face a divorce. Indeed, a divorce can spark these issues for the first time or make existing disorders even worse. But how might this affect child custody?
If you have questions such as these, you might want to get in touch with a qualified, experienced family law attorney in Florida as soon as possible. These legal professionals can help you strive for the best results in a highly confident manner, and they can do so in a non-judgemental way – regardless of what you might be struggling with. You should know that mental health problems will not necessarily pose an issue as you strive to spend time with your children – but an experienced attorney may be necessary to protect your parental rights.
The Child’s Best Interests
The first thing you should know is that all custody decisions are made based on the child’s best interests. In other words, the only factors that a judge will consider are associated with the children’s safety and well-being. In the context of a mental health disorder, your issues might be frowned upon by society (or your ex). There might be a significant amount of stigma associated with your disorder. But the only thing that matters is whether your mental health issue affects your child in a negative manner.
An Example of When a Mental Health Issue Does NOT Affect Custody
Let’s say you have severe depression – possibly caused by your divorce. You might be seeing some kind of therapist for this issue, and perhaps you are taking medication. However, your parenting abilities are not affected by this issue – even though it makes day-to-day activities a challenge. When you are with your children, you put on a brave face and try your best to be the most caring and attentive parent possible. In this scenario, your mental health issue would be unlikely to affect a judge’s child custody decision.
An Example of When a Mental Health Issue DOES Affect Custody
Let’s say that you have attempted suicide on multiple occasions, and your are considered to be a suicide risk after your divorce. In this situation, a judge might decide that your visitation rights and custody should be somewhat limited. The logic is that if you attempt suicide in the presence of your child or your body is discovered by the child, it could cause lasting trauma.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you’ve been searching for an Orlando divorce lawyer, look no further than Steve Marsee, P.A. Over the years, we have helped numerous parents in the Sunshine State, and we know that a divorce can be traumatic and problematic in a number of ways. Although you might have mental health issues, there’s no reason these issues should get in the way of your parental rights. Book your consultation today, and we can help you fight for these rights in an efficient, confident, and dignified manner.