Establishing Mental Illness in Child Custody Proceedings

The ordeal of caring for a child while one of their parents suffers from mental illness is terrifying. Living apart from a mentally ill parent makes parenting that much more difficult.

However, if you can show that the other parent is mentally unwell and get a custody ruling from the family court, you can lessen the severity of this obstacle. You can accomplish this by presenting the court with convincing arguments, healthcare data, and reports from childcare and healthcare experts and getting help from experts from The Harris Firm, LLC.

You Have Good Reason to Worry About a Parent With Mental Illness.

Concerns about your child’s safety and potential long-term impacts are understandable when you consider the possibility of an emotionally disturbed parent being alone with your child. Based on the data, your worries are valid. 

Some of how a parent’s mental instability manifests itself include drug abuse, marital violence, or difficulties related to mental illness. If these episodes of instability are not addressed appropriately, your child may suffer the most. 

When Does the Law Step In?

Family courts in Alabama often grant shared custody, but they can and will limit each parent’s visitation and other parental rights if they determine it is best for the kid. The following considerations should be considered while deciding what is best for the child:

  • If one or both parents have a history of or tendency toward abduction or abuse, 
  • Whether or whether both parents are good at fostering a tight bond between their children, 
  • The residence of each parent 
  • The capacity of both parents to work together and make decisions as a team and 
  • Whether or not both parents are in favor of shared parenting responsibilities. 

Steps to Take When Suspecting a Parent of Mental Illness

Consider your unique circumstances when deciding how to establish mental instability or disease in a family court proceeding involving child custody. The evidence you present may be based on what you already know or may necessitate gathering more data. 

You can utilize the following evidence to show that the other parent of your child is unstable: 

  • Health information (physical and mental), 
  • Based on what you have stated,
  • Medical records from the other parent’s stint in rehab for drug abuse, 
  • Medical history, including a mental health assessment, 
  • Evaluation results from a psychologist or other behavioral health specialist, 
  • Information gathered by law enforcement, 
  • Conflicting accounts from both parents,
  • School records for your child, 
  • Statements made by your minor child or any member of the other parent’s family, 
  • Documents about the other spouse’s job, 
  • Records of protection orders and 
  • Documents surrounding convictions.

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