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Child custody and mental illness in Texas

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Uncategorized |

Divorce is difficult for the entire family, especially when little ones are involved. Parents struggle not only for themselves but also for their children. If one parent suffers from a mental health issue, things can get complicated quickly.

If you are a parent facing a similar situation, you might worry about how the court will look at your case, especially if you are a parent with a mental illness. Many divorcing couples wonder if mental health and appearances matter.

Does mental health matter?

Yes, the mental health of the parent is critical. The primary concern of Texas courts is to ensure the best interests of the child or children.

This means the court looks at a list of factors used to determine what is in the child’s best interests. One of those factors is the mental health of the parents.

Are all mental health conditions equal?

Not all mental health conditions are the same. For example, if a parent has depression and is being treated successfully, the court might not think of this as a big deal.

However, if a parent has an untreated mental health condition and the appearance of the parent is one that shows irresponsibility, carelessness and disregard for the child’s well-being, the court will probably intervene for the safety and security of the child.

What you can do

If you are a parent with a mental illness going through a divorce, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of a favorable custody arrangement, for example:

  1. Stay on top of your treatment
  2. Document your involvement in your child’s life
  3. Be open and honest about your circumstances
  4. Have strong legal representation

Having a vigorous advocate who will support you by showing the court that your condition is under control is critical, especially in a contentious divorce, where the other party may try to skew the court’s view of the situation.

In conclusion, having a mental health condition does not automatically mean you will lose custody of your children. However, the court will be interested in knowing more about it, and you should be prepared (and not ashamed) to be honest with the court.

One in five Americans lives with a mental health condition. That is a significant number. Rest assured that courts are not out to take children away from their parents but rather ensure that children are raised in an environment that allows them to have a safe and happy life.


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