Mental Health and Custody
Mental health concerns are frequently addressed in custody cases. Parents, the children, or others involved in a case may experience a vast array of mental health concerns which may affect the custody matter. When the parents or others individuals who are parties to the custody matter have mental health issues, the Court may order that they have psychological evaluations completed, or that they engage in mental health treatment. The Court may also limit a parent’s or other party’s custody time with the child, or impose other restrictions, until they have adequately addressed the mental health concern.
Counseling for children is also commonly included in custody Orders, if the parents, other parties, or the children themselves request it, or if the Court thinks that it’s necessary in reviewing the case. At times, a child’s mental health concerns may impact the custody Order in other ways; for example, one parent might be better equipped to help the child achieve their treatment goals, and that could cause the Court to alter the custody schedule or the legal custody arrangements with regard to mental health treatment.
Generally speaking, the Court views mental health treatment favorably, and encourages parents, other parties, and children to engage in mental health treatment if it’s desired or necessary. While there can be a stigma associated with mental health concerns or treatment in our society, and individuals involved in custody matters may have personal objections regarding mental health treatment, the Court typically leans heavily in favor of treatment for mental health conditions.