I Have Mental Health Problems: Will This Affect My Custody Agreement?

These days, mental health problems are more common than ever before. The pandemic took a real toll on our collective state of mind, and anxiety is at an all-time high. A divorce certainly does not help this situation, and unfortunately many couples have split up during this period. If you have been struggling with mental health issues, you might be wondering how this might affect your child custody agreement. Can you lose custody if you have a documented mental health disorder?

If you find yourself in this situation, you should probably connect with a qualified, experienced family law attorney in Georgia as soon as possible. These legal professionals can guide you forwards in an efficient, confident manner, and they will help you strive for a fair custody agreement regardless of your mental health issues. While this can complicate matters, there is no reason you cannot continue to spend time with your child after your divorce. 

The Child’s Best Interests

When making decisions about custody in Georgia, family courts always consider the child’s best interests. Even though you might be struggling with mental health issues, it might actually damage the child’s psychological well-being if they separate them from you. This means that in order to limit mental health issues, they are likely to keep families together rather than split them apart. 

That being said, family courts will obviously try to protect a child in the best way possible. If your mental health issues put the child at risk in any way, you can expect a much more limited custody agreement. In severe cases, your visits might be supervised. Family courts understand that there is a clear difference between disorders like depression and more serious ailments. Certain disorders clearly put the child at risk. These include substance abuse issues, schizophrenia, and similar issues.

Considering the Past and the Future

Family courts may consider both the past and the future when assessing a parent’s mental health issues. For example, they may consider any past instances in which the parent’s mental health problems have resulted in harm to the child. These may also include situations in which parents have neglected the child. For example, a parent with a substance abuse problem might have left a child unattended for hours or even days while they get high. 

When considering the future, family courts are mostly concerned with whether the mental health issue will become progressively worse, thereby increasing the risk to the child. This is why it is generally a good idea to reveal your mental health issues rather than trying to conceal them. By revealing them, you show the court that you are trying to responsibly address your problems with treatment, and this increases the chances of a more stable environment for the child. 

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced family law attorney in Georgia, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous parents as they strive for the best possible custody agreement. Courts in Georgia are aware that mental health issues are simply a reality in most families, and they will act in a fair, responsible manner. With our help, you can spend as much time as possible with your children after your divorce.

I realized the true function of a lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder. The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that a large part of my time during the twenty years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied in bringing about private compromises of hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby — not even money, certainly not my soul.

Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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