Dealing with Mental Health Issues and Child Custody

Determining Child Custody When Mental Health Issues are Involved

When determining child custody issues, it is always best to keep the child’s best interest at the core of your decision.  If parents cannot make the decision on their own, they often seek judicial intervention.  When a court decides the custody arrangements of children, they always protect the children’s best interest, using facts and the law.  The court’s main interest is to ensure that the children are protected, provided for, happy, and safe.

What Factors Does a Judge Consider When It Comes to Child Custody?

In Massachusetts, there is no set list of guidelines that a judge must use to decide child custody.  Rather, the judge in a custody matter may consider a number of factors when deciding a child custody arrangement.  Some of these factors a judge may consider include the following:

  • The child’s current living conditions;
  • Mental, physical, and emotional health of the children;
  • Mental health of the parents’;
  • Drug use; and/or
  • Chemical dependency.

Can Parents with Mental Health Issues Have Visitation?

Whether a parent’s visitation will be affected by a mental health issue they may have, can only be determined by the unique facts of your child custody case.  There could be some instances where a court may deem it appropriate that visitation be limited until the parent gets better, while other issues may not warrant such a limitation.  A court may also find that its appropriate to allow only supervised visitation until further notice.  The court will always consider the child’s best interest, as well as their safety, when deciding any child custody matter.  An experienced child custody attorney can help you understand your rights as a parent and help get results in your child’s best interest.

If you are in need of an experienced child custody attorney to help you with your matter, contact the Law Offices of Cynthia L. Hanley, P.C. to schedule your consultation.