Bipolar disorder, like other mental health problems, is manageable with treatment such as medications and therapy. If you’re worried that having it would affect your child custody case during a divorce, don’t be. You still have a fighting chance.
How Does Bipolar Disorder Affect Child Custody?
The court’s main concern is your child’s best interests when determining child custody, and not yours. However, one of the top factors that come into play during child custody cases is the physical and mental health of the parents.
If you have bipolar disorder, your spouse would probably use your illness against you to gain the upper hand in the custody battle, warns Law Office of Dorene A. Kuffer and other prominent family law attorneys in Albuquerque. What you need to do is defend yourself by showing the court the following:
- An official statement from your doctor that your condition is stable and under control.
- Evidence that you’re receiving regular treatments and checkups for your illness.
- Proof that you obtain your medication refills regularly and take them.
Take note that the burden of proof isn’t all on you. Your spouse would also have to convince the court that your bipolar disorder makes you unfit for caring for your child and present relevant evidence such as the following:
- Evidence that you were recently hospitalized for your condition.
- Proof of your reckless behavior, including police reports and such.
- Evidence that your condition led to violent behavior with your child or neglecting your child in some manner, including doctor’s reports, police reports, school records, or social service reports.
If an incident occurred in the past due to your bipolar disorder, you need to tell your lawyer in advance in order that you could better prepare your defense in court.
Yes, you could still win custody of your child even if you suffer from bipolar disorder. Being afflicted with the condition isn’t truly the issue, but how it could potentially impact your child-rearing abilities. The most crucial thing to remember is that you need to show the court that you’re proactive and capable of caring for your child despite your condition.