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Mental health issues and stepfamilies

Posted by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:10 PM
  • 55 Replies

Do you think a parent mental illness should factor into whether they are awarded primary custody or not? Why or why not? Does the type of mental illness matter and whether or not the person is being treated or has it under control?

Do you think a stepparent's mental illness should be a factor in a custody change matter? Discuss.

Wife, Mother and Career Woman living in Jamaica

by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:10 PM
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Replies (1-10):
MommySabs
by Gold Member on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:15 PM
No I don't think mental health soley should determine custody. I know many wonderful parents who have mental health issues. I myself suffer from debilitating generalized anxiety.
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Dana333810
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:18 PM
2 moms liked this

 Good questions, Lee.

Quoting leegirl_jm:

Do you think a parent mental illness should factor into whether they are awarded primary custody or not? Yes. Why or why not? Will explain further reasoning below. Does the type of mental illness matter and whether or not the person is being treated or has it under control? To a degree, yes.

Do you think a stepparent's mental illness should be a factor in a custody change matter? Discuss. YES.

 My reasoning: I do believe that for both a parent and stepparents, mental illnesses should be playing factors when it comes to custody. If the illness at hand directly affects the well-being and quality of life of the child, it certainly should be considered. Now, if the person (Parent or SP) has the illness under control, and is responsible enough to take proper medications and go to treatments, that should be considered too and play in their favor.

 

LovingMy2x4
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:19 PM

I think it depends on what kind. Some are controlled, while others are not. 

I posted yesterday about my skids SF's "anger problems" and that he is verbally abusing BM. In this sitch, I dont think the children should be around to witness it. 


Birdseed
by Gold Member on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:22 PM
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Mental health is tricky. 

I don't think that a well managed person should have to be worried that it will be held against them. 

MommySabs
by Gold Member on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:28 PM
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It is tricky and it is such an unspoken about thing that it is thrown around as a threat. I know parents who have bipolar, schizophrenia, anxiety, depression, addiction past and are amazing parents. Their mental health doesn't make them bad parents but there is still that stigma that bc they have a mental health problem they should have their children taken away.


Quoting Birdseed:

Mental health is tricky. 

I don't think that a well managed person should have to be worried that it will be held against them. 


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thatislife
by on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:32 PM
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Yes, it should matter on both counts if the mental illness has symptoms that manifest in behaviors in the parent/steparent that will adversely effect the kids.  If the mental illness is well under control and the individual continues to treat it to make sure it stays under control then it should not be a factor.

HopesNDreams
by Silver Member on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:37 PM
Yes...absolutely yes! If there is a mental health diagnosis, custody should only be possible if the condition is being treated and the psychiatrist signs off on the person as a safe patent. If meds aren't taken, custody should revert to the other patent. If there is a hospitalization, custody should revert to the other patent. Mental health records should also be accessible to the courts.

Then again, I am speaking as a SM to a teenager who has been emotionally destroyed by her mother's mental illness. The things she witnessed while her mother was 'getting her meds balanced' FOR YEARS should not be a part of any person's childhood. It is a crime that B,'s right to privacy comes before her children's well being.
MommySabs
by Gold Member on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:42 PM
And that is the kind of thinking I am referring to.


Quoting HopesNDreams:

Yes...absolutely yes! If there is a mental health diagnosis, custody should only be possible if the condition is being treated and the psychiatrist signs off on the person as a safe patent. If meds aren't taken, custody should revert to the other patent. If there is a hospitalization, custody should revert to the other patent. Mental health records should also be accessible to the courts.



Then again, I am speaking as a SM to a teenager who has been emotionally destroyed by her mother's mental illness. The things she witnessed while her mother was 'getting her meds balanced' FOR YEARS should not be a part of any person's childhood. It is a crime that B,'s right to privacy comes before her children's well being.

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ramita
by Silver Member on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:42 PM
Its something that I think should be known and as long as they a have it controlled or getting help then it shouldn't affect their custody.

SS BM as mental issues and is in no way able to take care if her kids. She has never been able to, but until last year we didn't know how much it affected her. My DH got temporary custody due to her mental disability, but at the time the judge said she mainly did it to give BM plenty of time to get on the proper meds and then get her life in order (job, place, vehicle, etc) so she wouldn't have the extra stress if kids while trying to take care if herself. We we're able to get the court hearing only because she became a threat to the kids (she attacked his SF and did about $5000 worth of damages to the house they were living in).

She won't get help so the therapist/mediator we have isn't allowing much visitation for her.
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ramita
by Silver Member on Mar. 13, 2013 at 2:46 PM
We were able to gain access to my SS BM medical history for mental illness. All we had to do was get her signature. If she wouldn't have signed our lawyer was going to make a case to the judge why it was needed so we'd get them more than likely anyway. However my DH and I can't see them just the lawyer and judge and now therapist/mediator.


Quoting HopesNDreams:

Yes...absolutely yes! If there is a mental health diagnosis, custody should only be possible if the condition is being treated and the psychiatrist signs off on the person as a safe patent. If meds aren't taken, custody should revert to the other patent. If there is a hospitalization, custody should revert to the other patent. Mental health records should also be accessible to the courts.



Then again, I am speaking as a SM to a teenager who has been emotionally destroyed by her mother's mental illness. The things she witnessed while her mother was 'getting her meds balanced' FOR YEARS should not be a part of any person's childhood. It is a crime that B,'s right to privacy comes before her children's well being.

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