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Can I Lose Custody For Depression And Anxiety

How Do You Prove A Parent Is Mentally Unfit


How Does a Family Court Determine If a Parent Is Unfit?

  • A history of child abuse.
  • A history of substance abuse.
  • A history of domestic violence.
  • The parents ability to make age-appropriate decisions for a child.
  • The parents ability to communicate with a child.
  • Psychiatric concerns.
  • The parents living conditions.
  • Can Antidepressants Work Against You

    It is an unfortunate reality that seeking help for your mental health during a divorce could negatively impact your custody case. That could be the situation, however, if your spouse decides to use your depression or the fact that you are on medications against you. Your ex-spouse may bring these issues to a judges attention during his or her arguments. A judge may see this as a sign of potential instability and rule in your ex-spouses favor.

    However, taking antidepressants could also be proof that you are responsible enough as a parent to get your depression under control. If you hire an attorney to advocate your side of the custody case, your lawyer could help you shed a positive light on your situation. Your child custody lawyer can explain to a judge that you are suffering from situational depression because of the divorce and that you do not have a history of needing antidepressants, or that you are stable and consistent even while on antidepressants.

    Do not let your ex-spouse intimidate or bully you into trying to handle your mental health without professional help. See a doctor and do not be afraid to take antidepressants, if prescribed. Do your best to restore your mental health. Then, hire a lawyer from the Law Office of Stephen Vertucci to represent your side of the case during a custody trial in Colorado. If your lawyer can prove you are handling your situational or clinical depression in a healthy way, it should not interfere with your claim to child custody.

    Not Consulting The Other Parent

    Partnership isnt just about where each parent takes their children. Often, its also about other decisions that affect the childs well-being. Whether this is buying the child a new game console or, in Mrs. Doubtfire fashion, throwing a huge party for them without the other parents approval, it can definitely result in the court judge shaking his head over ones ability to parent.

    Its therefore best to wait until the court has ironed out all the details of custody. After this, each parent may be able to have some degree of independence in how to raise their child, although for major decisions, it will still remain largely consultative. It can be tempting, for some, to defy the other parents authority. But, keep in mind, this could come at the cost of losing custody of the little one. During this critical period, its therefore best to just play it safe and not feed the fire.

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    Can A Judge Terminate A Mentally Ill Parent’s Rights

    Although terminating parental rights is an extreme step, courts will and do take this measure under certain conditions. Terminations of parental rights are an option of last resort a judge will only sever a parent’s rights if it serves a child’s best interests and no other alternatives are available. In Texas, a parent with mental health issues may have his or her legal rights terminated if the following criteria are met:

    • the parent has a mental illness or mental deficiency making it impossible to provide for the child’s emotional, physical, and mental needs.
    • the parent’s mental illness or deficiency is permanent
    • the child has been placed out of the parent’s care for at least six months
    • the state has made reasonable efforts to return the child to the parent’s care, and
    • the termination of rights serves the child’s best interests.

    In one Texas case, a schizophrenic and bipolar mother was able to keep her parental rights. The mother was accused of exhibiting mental instability and paranoia, but the state based its request for termination solely on the fact the mother’s rights to another child had been terminated 25 years earlier. The mother’s parental rights were kept in tact because her mental illness didn’t currently affect her ability to parent.

    How Do I Talk To My Child About My Mental Health Condition

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    How you talk to your child about your mental health condition will depend on the age and maturity of your child and your willingness to open up to him or her.

    In general, children, especially as they grow older, are very astute and knowledgeable about their surroundings. They can sense emotional changes and can often tell if something is hidden from them without their knowledge. Some children may be able to fully understand what it means to have a mental health condition. In talking with children you can help them to know how to cope when you are not feeling well. And, a child may be able to support you in your recovery by reminding you when to take your medications or help you stay on track.

    Your decision to talk to your child about your condition should also take into account your readiness. Parents often want to appear invincible and strong to their children, as they think it is the parents’ role to care for a sick child and not the other way around. The decisions you make should be made with both parent and child in mind.

    Before proceeding, you should always talk to your doctor or therapist about the best ways to bring this information up. You may want to consider the possibility of inviting a child to a session to explore this information.

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    Will A Court Grant An Annulment From A Mentally Impaired Spouse

    Some marriages can be mistakes from the get-go. Texas law allows annulments in cases where a spouse is mentally incompetent at the time of marriage. For annulment purposes, mental incompetence can include mental illness, mental deficiency, or impaired thinking as a result of drug or alcohol abuse. For example, in one Texas case, a guardian sought an annulment on behalf of a mentally incompetent husband. The court granted the annulment because the husband didn’t comprehend that he had gotten married, and the couple didn’t cohabitate or ratify the marriage after the wedding.

    Each divorce is as unique as the couple requesting it. The effects of mental health issues on divorce will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. If you have additional questions about the impact of mental health issues on divorce in Texas, contact a local family law attorney for advice.

    How Can I Prove That Mental Illness Is A Legitimate Concern

    In all child custody cases, the court is required to determine whether both parents are capable of caring for the child. This evaluation comprises financial, emotional, and physical considerations. Factors such as mental illness can cause the court to label a parent unequipped and result in lost custody privileges.

    Should you suspect that mental illness is a problem for your spouse, you and your attorney can raise issues that may point to this realization.Proof of the following factors can all work in your favor:

    • That your spouse is mentally unstable
    • That your spouse lacks the responsibility to care for a child
    • That your spouse has a history of mental illness

    The more clearly you prove these issues, the better your chances of receiving a favorable custody decision. An attorney can help you prepare your case and actively fight for what you deserve while in court.

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    Impact Of Mental Health Issues On Child Custody

    A child’s best interests are the central focus of any custody case. A judge will consider each parent’s emotional stability and ability to provide a child with a safe environment. Minor, well-controlled mental health issues probably won’t have much of an effect on custody however, major mental health problems will.

    In one Texas case, the court placed significant restrictions on a mentally ill father’s custody. The father challenged the lower court’s decision but lost. Texas law allows judges to consider mental illness as a factor that can limit, prohibit, or restrict custody rights. The court upheld the custody limitations in this case because the father stopped treatment for his bipolar disorder and relapsed with his use of illegal drugs.

    As noted in the above case, a parent’s substance abuse problems will affect custody. Judges can place limitations on a parent’s visitation to ensure that he or she won’t use alcohol or drugs in the child’s presence. In many cases, a parent’s visitation restrictions will be lifted after a demonstrated period of emotional stability.

    Does Taking Antidepressants Affect Child Custody

    Anxiety and Divorce (EP129)

    Posted in Child Custody on October 14, 2019

    During a divorce case, it is normal to feel anxious, depressed or overwhelmed. For many people, the stressors that come with divorce are enough to lead to a prescription for antidepressants. If you are on antidepressants, however, your spouse could try to use this against you during a custody battle. While this may seem like a lose-lose situation, you may be able to avoid negative repercussions if you know what to expect during your custody case and how to strengthen your position as a parent.

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    Proving A Spouses Mental Illness

    Its not uncommon for a mentally ill spouse to deny the illness. If youre concerned about how your spouses health affects your children, youll need to make a clear case to the court.

    It can be difficult for you to prove your spouses mental illness if its gone undiagnosed, or if there are no outward or noticeable signs of the problems. If you have a medical doctor who has treated your spouses condition in the past, your attorney can subpoena your spouses medical records for your custody case.

    You can also prove a spouses mental health troubles by introducing expert testimony, domestic violence incidents reported to police or other enforcement agencies, or your own testimony to the court.

    If you have questions about how mental illness might affect your custody case, contact an experienced family law attorney in your area.

    Prevalence Of Mental Health Challenges Related To Custody Issues

    Data from the 2016 Current Population Survey indicates that :

    • More than one-quarter of all children under 21 years of age lived in families with only one of their parents while the other parent lived elsewhere.
    • Of these families, almost one-third were in poverty. This financial strain is an additional stressor that may contribute to mental health problems.

    This data suggests that many people have to negotiate custody issues and related challenges. Divorce and separation are associated with increased anxiety and depression, and increased risk of alcohol abuse . Another study found that mothers who lost custody of their children were at higher risk of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse compared to mothers dealing with the death of a child .

    Divorce and separation are also associated with higher levels of anxiety and depression in children and adolescents . Parental mental health can also impact on the wellbeing of children, compounding their vulnerability during the process of separation and custody changes.

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    I Know I Need Therapy To Be A Good Enough Parent But My Social Worker Says The Waiting Lists Mean That I Wont Even Get An Assessment For Another Six Months And That Even Then I Mightnt Get Any Help Because Im Too Unwell Or Live Too Far Away Can The Social Worker Take My Children Away

    It can be very difficult for parents with mental health difficulties and personality disorder diagnoses to find and receive the support they need. Waiting lists often exceed the governments 18 week target and parents can feel very frightened and isolated in the meantime, which may increase the level of risk of harm or neglect they pose to their children. However, Childrens Services should never consider removing children simply because of the difficulties in accessing help for the parent. The courts should ensure that this will not happen. National mental health charities and local advocacy groups can also be useful in helping parents to find the help they need within a reasonable time-frame such organisations can often be more aware of available resources than social workers or psychiatrists.

    I Know That I Need Help In Looking After My Children And My Partner Does Help Hes A Great Dad And Does Everything For Them However He Beats Me Regularly And Im Scared To Tell Anyone Because I Know Hell Convince Them That Its Just My Mental Health Making Me Imagine The Beatings Even If I Do Leave I Know Hed Get Full Custody Of The Children And Ban Me From Seeing Them Because I Know I Couldnt Look After Them On My Own If I Ask For Help Can A Social Worker Take My Children Away

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    This is probably one of the most difficult scenario for a parent with a mental health problem or personality disorder diagnosis. The Womens Aid website provides some thoughtful and realistic advice here. Parents who find themselves in this very vulnerable position would do best to approach Childrens Services and mental health support via the support of an independent domestic violence advocate, who will help the Social Worker to understand what is happening and what will help. Some womens refuges have intensive support available to mothers with specific mental health needs, and some refuges can allow women to stay for up to five years. However, the mother will need legal advice and representation to protect themselves from their abusive ex-partner, which is currently available free of charge to all domestic violence victims through legal aid.

    You might also find it helpful to visit our section on domestic violence and abuse.

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    How Do Antidepressants Work

    The most common antidepressant medications for children are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors . These medications increase the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a chemical that can help increase feelings of happiness and well-being.

    Use extra caution with antidepressants in children. Some children show no improvement with the medications, or may even feel more depressed. If a healthcare provider recommends antidepressants, watch your childs condition closely. Never allow your child to stop taking antidepressants suddenly. Doing so can cause serious side effects or make depression worse.

    When I Am Most Distressed I Can Find It Hard To Talk To People Or To Explain What Is Wrong Ive Tried To Write Things Down But Im Not Very Good At Reading And Writing And I Dont Always Understand What Professionals Say Or Write This Means That The Social Worker Sometimes Thinks That Im Not Cooperating Can They Take My Children Away

    Many people who have both mental health problems and difficulties with communication or literacy find that the anxiety, stress and confusion associated with their mental health can make it especially hard to explain to professionals what is wrong and to understand what they are being told to do. All professionals and especially Social Workers should be trained in working with and communicating with people with range of needs and difficulties. However, advocacy services can be helpful, especially when parents have additional learning difficulties.

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