Can I Lose Child Custody Because of My Depression?
A healthy parent has a better chance of making good parenting decisions than an addicted parent does, especially during a challenging divorce. If you are a parent who suffers from depression, the most effective way for you to care for your children and maintain child custody is to seek professional help for your condition.
Symptoms of Depression
Individuals with depression can experience a variety of symptoms, including the following:
- Sad or anxious feelings
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness or helplessness
- Irritability or restlessness
- Lack of interest in activities and hobbies
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
- Insomnia or oversleeping
- Appetite loss or overeating
- Suicidal thoughts
- Chronic pain
Child Custody and Depression
In the case of a challenging child custody battle, a family law judge often has the responsibility of determining how fit each parent is to care for children. If one parent accuses the other parent of being unfit due to depression, the court may order a psychological evaluation.
Psychological Evaluations and Custody
It can be difficult to collect enough information to determine whether or not a parent’s depression negatively affects his or her ability to care for a child. The most effective way for parents to ensure that they remain fit to care for a child is to seek professional treatment for their depression. It is often not necessary to disclose any information about seeking treatment to the other parent or his attorney.
If the court requests an evaluation, the parent may be required to take psychological tests. Some common psychological evaluation tests include the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2), which assesses adult psychopathology, and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-III), which tests for personality disorders and clinical syndromes. These tests require expert interpretation and significant experience in order to determine how the results may relate to child custody.
By providing proof that they are seeking psychiatric therapy and showing a commitment to improving your psychological health, parents with depression can help build their cases for retaining child custody.
Finding Depression Treatment for Parents
If you are looking for confidential help for depression, please call our toll-free number now. Our counselors are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about depression and help you find the best treatment option for your situation. We are here to help. Please call now.