Mental illnesses can be disabling and debilitating, just like any other illness. People cannot choose whether they become victim to a mental illness any more than they can choose whether they will acquire a physical disease. Therefore, stigmas surrounding mental illness should be fought.
However, during family law disputes and especially during child custody battles, a parent’s mental illness may be addressed as part of the case. This can be controversial because a parent should not be denied a relationship with their child just because they are suffering from an illness.
If you are worried about the role that mental health experts will play in your child custody case, it is important to remember that courts make decisions based on the child’s best interests. In this way, the courts try to ensure that children have relationships with both of their parents when it is safe to do so.
What statements might mental health professionals give in a child custody case?
Mental health professionals might give their expert opinion on a child’s wellbeing, or on the well-being of a parent. They may talk about the nature of a parent’s substance abuse and evaluate the risk that this could have on a child. Alternatively, they may make statements about how a parent’s mental illness will not affect the child’s well-being.
It is important to remember that mental health professionals may be able to help you in your family law dispute, even if you are suffering from mental illness. By understanding the law in Indiana, you will be able to take appropriate action.