Family law courts take the mental health of parents very seriously when custody issues are considered. A parent who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder may now have symptoms under control with the help of medication and medical doctors, but may still face an uphill battle when trying to acquire custody of children. Even if the person is petitioning for shared custody and not full physical custody, the other parent may fight that petition and use evidence of past negative behavior in this court battle. Child custody lawyers in Smithtown can help the person who has a serious but manageable mental illness maintain their rights to continue being with the children on a regular basis.
Family courts generally prefer both parents to be fully involved in the lives of their children unless a parent could be negligent or cause harm to them. If a parent with bipolar disorder has previously had problems in this regard, it will be imperative to show that those issues are resolved. People with this form of mental illness may be unable to take care of young children properly if they are depressed or manic. Depression can make them unable to respond, to prepare nutritious meals and to supervise the children as needed. Manic episodes can result in a parent leaving the youngsters alone for hours, or making unwise impulsive decisions such as bringing numerous romantic partners home every month to stay overnight.
The judge evaluates whether the parent with bipolar disorder is a fit parent or not. If this person currently has full or shared physical custody of the children, it’s unlikely that this arrangement will be changed unless the parent is deemed unfit. The client defending against the evidence will benefit by obtaining statements from their doctors, employer and persons of authority who know the individual. Some of these people may be willing to provide statements in depositions, hearings or at trial. Parents who have been diagnosed with mental illness but are able to manage their condition may contact the Todd J. Zimmer Law Firm for assistance in child custody matters.