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Advice:
Depression teatment and child custody
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Hello everyone. I want to get treatment for depression, but fear it might affect my custody arrangement. If there are articles online about child custody and depression, please post it so I can do some research.
Posted on 09/13/08, 09:27 am
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Advice:
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Reply #1 - 09/13/08  11:55am
" I'm not sure how it will effect your case but I was asking in my interrogatories during my divorce if I had received treatment from a mental health care professional. I had not and I didn't get the joint custody I asked for, but I don't think it had anything to do with my answer to this question.

Personally, don't take this as advice, I think if you're trying to get help and better yourself it would reflect health and wellness. Unless you seek counsel and refuse treatment. In some cases they can order a psych evaluation anyway, so I would seek the help you need and accept any treatment and present it to the court. You condition shouldn't matter if it is being treated properly. "
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Reply #2 - 09/13/08  2:08pm
" I'm receiving help now myself for domestic violence thru one of the community programs here (as a victim myself). I've let every attorney know what's going on and even gave them permission to contact and confirm that I'm keeping my appointments and all that.

In my case my Ex has a long history of mental issue's and past abuse. Her journal even goes into detail about her emotional/mental attacks against me, so I'm not worried in the least about how it looks for me going to counseling as my daughter as there's more than enough justification for it.

The courts like to see "healthy" parents that are able to care for themselves and their child. Sometimes that means we get ourselves and our kids the help we need for what happened to us. Other times it's cooperating for issue's we may have ourselves (AA, anger management, etc). At worst we can always discuss things with a lawyer (or free legal advice) about the particulars of our case and what we could/should be doing and the benefits/risks to our case.

Getting ourselves and kids help should never be a bad thing. Addressing a possible court/state concern, even if we don't agree it's there, shouldn't be a bad thing either. If I were to be suspected of having an anger problem, for the good of my daughter I have no problems going in and talking to someone just to get myself checked out. At best I'd have someone to say that it doesn't exists and they checked me thoroughly and at worst I'm doing something preemptive "just in case" for the good of my daughter as I'm not saying I have an anger problem, but want to keep my daughter safe and am willing to do what I need just in case I might have missed something myself. If I had an anger problem, I wouldn't want it nor have it near my child.

It comes down to the specifics of the case really, but in general of yer getting yerself help that should only be used as a positive thing as I'm sure there's not a court around that's tired of hearing parents stand in front of them saying "I'm fine" about these kind of issue's. What the courts want to hear at worst is "I think I'm fine, but I want to be sure so I'm doing just in case".

-Gil "
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Reply #3 - 09/13/08  4:11pm
" Its unfortunate that its necessary in our society but you should:

Not tell anyone about your treatment. Not your Mom, not your Dad, not your friends, not your very best friend you've know since 3rd grade, not your children, not your sister or brother and not your neighbors. This list may not include everyone but you get the idea.

No one. Not even a stranger on the street. "
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Reply #4 - 09/13/08  5:47pm
" To let you guys know, my ex and I settled the case instead of having it tried. basically the agreement is that I have custody on the weekdays and she has them on the weekends. She does not have to pay child support and gets to keep majority of the marital assets. I don't care about the money nor do I care about the assets as much as I care about the children so I asked if we can settle it this way knowing the person she is, she will go for the money and no child support obligation.
Anyway, my thoughts of sadness from my experience is starting to get to me more lately and I wish I could forget about everything that has happened during the marriage. I just want help, but fear that it could be used against me if she decides she wants custody later down the road. "
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Reply #5 - 09/13/08  11:15pm
" I personally don't think it will impact your custody situation in a negative way as long as you're receiving treatment for any diagnosis of a disorder. Better they find out your getting treatment than to find out that something's wrong and you're not getting treatment, in my opinion. "
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Reply #6 - 09/13/08  11:22pm
" so many ppl batter depression in this world its almost common these days. i agree with orangecounty i would not advertise it, but i would seek the help you need for your own good. and if she agrees to all that i dont see too many judges tripping all over themselves to give her custody later on when they see how fast she gave it up over material things and money. judges look at that kind of stuff. you go get the help you need and love your kids, your a good dad, keep being one,
hugs,
p "
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Reply #7 - 09/13/08  11:28pm
" I believe the key will be how you deal with your depression and treatment. Your past actions with depression will come into play if there is a chance that it could affect your child.

My younger sister just lost her joint custody of her son. She took her ex to court to get more time with her son. They had 1 week on and 1 week off. They had 50/50. Anyway, the evaluator found her to be mentally unstable. She has been dealing with some issues since she was very young. She was in counseling for 7 years. After everything that she had been going through, she was willingly putting herself back into that situation. The evaluator told her if she did that she would turn her in for neglect. My sister also has quite a temper which hurt her.

Her situation is probably extreme. I would just make sure that you do whatever you have to do to protect yourself and your child. I agree with Orange. Don't talk about it with a lot of people. However, I do think you can talk to your parents about it. A good part of dealing and over coming depression is having a strong support network and being able to talk to others who understand or who can help you.

Good luck "

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