How Does a Parent’s Mental Illness Impact Custody Decisions in Louisiana?

man holding baby

Getting a divorce because your partner suffers from mental illness can be upsetting. However, when you have children, it can become even more overwhelming. Though you love your partner and want your child to have a relationship with both parents, it may not be ideal. As such, understanding what the courts consider regarding mental illness when making a custody decision is essential.  The following blog explores what you should know about these matters and why it’s in your best interest to connect with a Monroe, Louisiana child custody lawyer to explore your legal options.

Can Mental Illness Influence a Court’s Custody Decision?

First and foremost, it’s essential to understand that many Americans struggle with mental health issues. Unfortunately, this topic is often deemed taboo, so many do not discuss their issues. Just because someone has a mental illness does not mean they are not fit to be a parent. On the flip side, however, it is possible that some who struggle with mental health issues may find it does interfere with their ability to parent. As such, the courts must take the following factors into consideration when making a custody decision when one parent suffers from mental illness:

  • The severity of the parent’s illness
  • Whether or not they are actively receiving treatment for their issues
  • If their illness prevents them from meeting the needs of the child
  • Their medical records, including prior hospitalizations
  • The frequency of episodes, if any
  • Whether or not the child has ever seen the parent experience an episode
  • The ability of the parent to provide a stable environment for the child

If the court determines these factors do not interfere with a parent’s ability to care for and provide for their child, they’ll have no reason to rule against the parent.

If I Have Concerns About My Child’s Well-being, What Should I Do?

When you are going through a custody battle and have concerns about the health and well-being of your child when in the custody of their other parent, you may be unsure how to proceed. If you have reason to believe the other party is misrepresenting the severity of their illness to the courts, connecting with an experienced attorney is critical.

Your attorney can help raise concerns with the courts regarding the truth about the other party’s mental illness and, as a result, can request an evaluation be conducted. This can help grant you peace of mind that if there are founded concerns, the courts will recognize them and act accordingly.

At Breithaupt, DuBos, & Wolleson, we understand the sensitive nature of these matters, which is why we are committed to helping you navigate these complex issues. Our team is ready to help fight for the best interest of your family. Connect with our team today to discuss these circumstances in further detail during a free consultation.

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