When mental illness and child custody collide in Texas

When mental illness and child custody collide in Texas

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2021 | Divorce |

It is apparent that you and your spouse can no longer remain together. But while you both agree that divorce is the right choice, you are deadlocked on the custody arrangements for your minor children.

Both of you want to be the children’s primary caregiver. But recently, your soon-to-be ex-spouse lobbed a disastrous salvo your way: They intend to use your mental health diagnosis as a major reason why you should not share custody of the kids.

Can they do that?

Well, they can certainly try. But that argument might not prevail in the Texas family law courts. However, it is an allegation that should be taken seriously. Now that you know your co-parent intends on using this approach, you need to prepare to defend yourself in court.

Not all mental health diagnoses are equally disabling

If you are diagnosed with schizophrenia, are noncompliant with your medication and treatment plan and are experiencing paranoid episodes and hallucinations, the children could very well be in jeopardy when in your custody.

However, someone who suffers from mild depression or anxiety that is well-controlled with medication, or a bipolar patient who is doing well on their treatment regimen, might find that the mental health barrier to custody is far less significant.

Ask your attorney to get statements from your medical providers

It is one thing to testify that your mental health issues are not a factor in your being awarded custody of the kid. But to be really effective, you should gather statements from your primary care physician and any psychologists, counselors or psychiatrists who have treated you and can attest to your fitness to parent your children.

Lay the groundwork for a strong case for custody

HIPAA laws notwithstanding, if you intend to fight for custody of the kids, you will likely need to be transparent about your condition and willingness to remain compliant with medication and therapy. Work hand-in-glove with your Aledo family law attorney to achieve your custody goals.