How do you prove mental illness in a custody case?

The primary concern of individuals in child custody cases should be what’s in the best interest of their child, which requires consideration of both parents’ mental health. Suppose a parent exhibits symptoms of a mental illness that could affect their child’s well-being. In that case, it may be necessary to provide extensive evidence of that parent’s mental health condition in a custody, visitation, or parenting time case. Consult with a Fairfax child custody lawyer at Select Law Partners PLLC to help you reach the best custody resolution for your child.

how to prove mental illness in a child custody case

What factors are considered when determining a child’s best interest?

A child’s best interest controls when deciding custody and visitation arrangements. There are several factors Virginia courts consider when determining a child’s best interest. One of these factors is the age and mental condition of each parent.

Several types of mental illnesses are often alleged in Virginia child custody cases. These include mood disorders, personality disorders, and substance use disorders (such as drug or alcohol abuse). Unless the parent’s symptoms affect their ability to care for their child properly, it probably won’t affect their custody.

How does a parent’s mental health affect child custody decisions in Virginia?

A parent’s mental health can play a part in child custody decisions, but it doesn’t mean a parent diagnosed with a mental illness automatically loses custody. The court will consider the severity of the mental illness and how it will affect their ability to care for their child.

If a parent with a mental illness can’t give their child adequate care, they could be considered unfit, but if they’re receiving proper treatment and can give the child a stable and safe home environment, they may retain custody. Each case is unique, and the judge will consider the specific circumstances the parents are facing.

Can a parent lose custody for displaying symptoms of a mental illness?

A parent may lose custody based on mental illness if their symptoms affect their ability to care for the child properly. For instance, if the parent has a mental illness and exhibits signs of substance abuse or violence, they may lose physical custody of the child but could be awarded supervised visitation.

There are many factors considered when determining whether a parent’s mental illness will affect the child’s best interest. This is one reason why it’s important to get help from an experienced child custody attorney in Fairfax as soon as possible.

What evidence can be used to prove mental illness in a custody case?

A judge won’t just take your word that the child’s parent is unfit to provide adequate care. You must present proof of your concerns to show they are valid. The following evidence can be used to prove a parent’s unfitness based on mental illness:

  • Medical records
  • Records of treatment for substance abuse
  • Mental health evaluation records
  • Police reports
  • Affidavits from mental health professionals
  • The child’s school records
  • The parent’s employment records
  • Restraining orders
  • Testimony from family members, neighbors, doctors, or teachers
  • Your testimony

In some cases, it might be necessary to have a guardian ad litem appointed to your custody case. If you think a mentally ill parent having custody of a child is not in that child’s best interest, it’s important to reach out to a Fairfax child custody attorney at Select Law Partners PLLC for help. We know what evidence a Virginia judge considers when determining custody involving a mentally ill parent.

Do I need legal help to prove mental illness in my custody case?

Determining child custody is stressful and incredibly emotional. It’s in your best interest and your child’s to hire an experienced child custody lawyer to handle your case. Call Select Law Partners PLLC today at (855) 541-4867 for a consultation to discuss how to best protect your and your child’s interests in your custody case.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

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