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How Does Mental Health Impact Family Law?

Posted on in Family Law

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that many people struggle with some form of mental health.  It is comforting to know that the mental illness narrative in law has shifted over the year but it still may impact your family law court case. Whether your mental illness is temporary and instigated by the divorce or struggle with persistent mental disorders, your condition affects the court case. The best way to know how to handle yourself and win your family law case when you struggle with serious mental illness is to know beforehand your disorder’s impact on the divorce and child custody case.

Mental Illness and Divorce

For many people, divorce can heighten a parent’s mental health. When you get divorced, your world and life turn upside down. As you go through the court process, it is entirely normal to feel overwhelmed and confused. While your mental health issues might disappear once the judge finalizes your divorce, that doesn’t lessen the physical, mental, and emotional toll it takes on your life.

Lawyers are aware of the mental toll divorce takes on a person to offer mental health considerations. You must speak with your lawyer if you are struggling because not only does this help them understand your position, but they can direct you towards counseling services to aid you during this difficult time.

Mental Illness and Child Custody

When dealing with children, it is possible your mental health disorders impact your custody, visitation, and possession. While it is not the sole determinant, it can impact your relationship with your family in the future. Similar to mental health problems’ impact on divorce, things become more complex when children enter the equation. During child custody hearings, the judge has a sole purpose–to take action in the child’s best interest. Therefore, mental health plays a role if a judge determines your mental instability is not in the child’s best interest.

However, judges have become much more enlightened and understanding of mental health issues.  There are professionals – counselors, psychologists, etc. to help you through the struggle, whether it is temporary or a permanent condition.  If a parent is seeking help and following the recommendations of a professional, usually, the underlying mental health issue will not be a factor.

Mental Health and Family Law

Mental illness plays a vital role in family law cases. It is an important consideration, especially when children are involved. If you have mental health concerns, you must speak with your family law attorney to determine the best action to take. You might sign up for counseling or receive a mental health diagnosis from a doctor with medical solutions. At Hatton and Hatton Law Firm, we know the difficulties that come with family law litigation–that’s why we want to help you prepare for every aspect of your life.

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