Bipolar Divorce Custody

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A Bipolar condition is a disorder that is regarded as a grave psychological problem. It is characterized by phases of severe depression and these may be alternated by phases of manic behavior. The severity of this mental problem varies from person to person. It has been estimated that in the United States there are 5.1 million adults who have been diagnosed with this condition. Out of these approximately 50 percent are women. There are many types of treatments for this disease. But, the recovery of a person completely depends on the intensity of a disorder and capacity to come out of depression.

Divorce can be the reason for this disorder for some couples. But if children are involved in a divorce, then the situation often becomes difficult. The court does not have legal provisions to deny custody to a partner suffering from this problem. Thus, it analyzes the case in detail and takes decision accordingly. Therefore, there may be different decision in two similar cases in this regard.

Case studies of Bipolar Disorder and Divorce Custody

Here are some examples of the actual cases and court decisions that can throw light on this subject. These examples may guide you to know the approach of the court towards a person suffering from such disease.

  • The husband was bipolar. The wife was anxious regarding the stability of the husband. However, the judge awarded visitation rights to the husband on one condition. The husband should present to the court the results of regular tests that indicate that he was taking medication for his condition.
  • The wife was bipolar. So, the husband initially won sole guardianship of their child. During the final case proceedings, the wife refused that she was ever suffering from this disease. The husband did not have enough money to fight in the court and prove his statement. Eventually, the court declared a shared plan. Further, the husband made plans to save money to fight in the court as he was very concerned of his ex wife's mental instability.

As per law, a mental health problem does not essentially mean that the parent is unfit to be awarded child guardianship, in many cases the condition can be controlled by means of medicine. The court regards this step as a positive one for the distressed parent.

  • When a woman is diagnosed with this disease, it would not cause her to automatically lose custody of her child. The court scrutinizes the case very closely to verify if the disorder would really restrict her from adequate parenting of the child.
  • A person was the non custodial parent of an 8 year old girl. He had divorced his wife after it was found that she was bipolar. After the divorce, the ex wife stopped taking medicine and the daughter saw the effects on her mother. The daughter got scared. Now, the father can file a motion for change in the court order. He must prove that the circumstances have changed and his daughter is in danger. Usually, the court grants emergency orders in such situations.

Advice regarding Bipolar Disorder and Divorce Custody

  • All the communication or at least most of it should take place via the lawyers. It is very important to find a good attorney to present such case in an effective manner. A spouse suffering from this problem, should be ready to submit all medical reports and treatment details in the court to prove that he or she is capable of taking care the kids.
  • A bipolar disorder or schizophrenia may result in grave threats to the welfare of the child. In order to avoid this, the parent must be treated with psychotherapy and medication. If the person is proactive and gets treatment, the court views such a person in favorable light.
  • Sometimes, a spouse suffering from such depression is not cooperative. In such a case, the sound spouse must approach a court and procure a restraining order to safeguard himself/herself physically. It is also recommended to freeze accounts to prevent any possibility that the bipolar partner may squander the assets.
  • The sound parent must attempt to be supportive to other spouse. While doing so, the sound parent must try to minimize potentially distressful conditions.
  • The sound parent will realize that it is not possible to control the demeanor of the patient. However, the sound parent must control his/her own decisions and responses.

A case of child custody regarding a spouse suffering from bipolar disease is quite complicated. Fortunately the court does not hold any kind of presumption against such person. Therefore, there are chances that such people may win a joint guardianship of their kid.

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