Can a bipolar father get custody after a divorce? 21 Answers as of June 23, 2011

My wife knows that I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and will mention this in court, will this affect my custody of my daughter?

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Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
You, and many others have such a diagnosis. It will be a factor, but should not be the determining factor, unless your symptoms are so severe, that they prohibit you from being a good parent. The court will look to the child's best interest and consider all the circumstances to decide custody. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 6/23/2011
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C.
Law Office of Karen A. Clark, L.L.C. | Karen A. Clark
In general, one's medical condition will not affect custody. The court, however, will consider any history of abuse, neglect, violence, or other inappropriate behavior when making its determination. It would be a good idea to discuss this issue in detail with an attorney. Please feel free to call me.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/23/2011
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
If you are undergoing treatment and it is well controlled to where you have not had any recent incidences, then it should have little to no impact on the custodial arrangement and timesharing. You will probably need an attorney to assist you though in order to make sure the judge fully understands the situation and that relevant evidence is properly presented in order to inform the judge accurately. My office offers free initial telephone consultations if you would like to discuss this matter in more detail, as well as explore the potential rights and options available.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 6/23/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
The court will consider your condition and order a parenting plan In the best interest of the child.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 6/23/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
It is an issue the court may consider. However, if the condition is medicated, controlled and does not affect the ability to parent, it is likely to have nominal impact on the court's custody decision.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 6/23/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Maybe, maybe not. The bottom line is what is in the best interest of the child. Making that decision will involve an assessment of your specific condition, whether it is under control through appropriate medication & counseling, how well you function, and other factors relevant to caring for a child. You need to start with the same presumption that a judge will: how can we provide this child with TWO functioning parents who don't live together. Answering that question doesn't involve choosing one or the other when both parents are capable of parenting.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    The mere fact of being bipolar shouldn't affect the court's decision. However, just because it "shouldn't" doesn't mean that some court won't consider it. Also, it will depend on the severity of your condition and how well controlled it is.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/23/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    It depends on if it is controlled by medication and whether you are compliant in taking your medications.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
    Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
    The test is always "what is in the best interests of the child" and the court will take everything into consideration when making a decision, including psychiatric/psychological reports. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Pontrello Law
    Pontrello Law | William Pontrello
    if there is no abuse. every child needs their parents.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    I would urge you to retain a divorce lawyer as soon as possible. You should discuss all the facts which would show you would make a better custodial parent and this is only one fact, which I assume you can show how you have appropriately dealt with it in a responsible manner. Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    The relevant statute in CT states: (c) In making or modifying any order as provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, the court shall consider the best interests of the child, and in doing so may consider, but shall not be limited to, one or more of the following factors: (1) The temperament and developmental needs of the child; (2) the capacity and the disposition of the parents to understand and meet the needs of the child; (3) any relevant and material information obtained from the child, including the informed preferences of the child; (4) the wishes of the child's parents as to custody; (5) the past and current interaction and relationship of the child with each parent, the child's siblings and any other person who may significantly affect the best interests of the child; (6) the willingness and ability of each parent to facilitate and encourage such continuing parent-child relationship between the child and the other parent as is appropriate, including compliance with any court orders; (7) any manipulation by or coercive behavior of the parents in an effort to involve the child in the parents' dispute; (8) the ability of each parent to be actively involved in the life of the child; (9) the child's adjustment to his or her home, school and community environments; (10) the length of time that the child has lived in a stable and satisfactory environment and the desirability of maintaining continuity in such environment, provided the court may consider favorably a parent who voluntarily leaves the child's family home pendente lite in order to alleviate stress in the household; (11) the stability of the child's existing or proposed residences, or both; (12) the mental and physical health of all individuals involved, except that a disability of a proposed custodial parent or other party, in and of itself, shall not be determinative of custody unless the proposed custodial arrangement is not in the best interests of the child; (13) the child's cultural background; (14) the effect on the child of the actions of an abuser, if any domestic violence has occurred between the parents or between a parent and another individual or the child; (15) whether the child or a sibling of the child has been abused or neglected, as defined respectively in section 46b-120; and (16) whether the party satisfactorily completed participation in a parenting education program established pursuant to section 46b-69b. The court is not required to assign any weight to any of the factors that it considers.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC
    Meriwether & Tharp LLC | Patrick Meriwether
    In Georgia, one's medical condition can be considered when determining custody, but it is not necessarily the ultimate deciding factor. For example, if one is bipolar, but has been consistently taking medication to keep it under control, then the court will not consider that factor as heavily. Custody determinations are very fact specific and can vary from courtroom to courtroom.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    In Washington I would expect a court to be concerned as to whether the bipolar disorder affects your ability to parent your daughter. How well you are controlling your condition with medication or other means may be an an important factor.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    There may be evidentiary objections that could be sustained to your wife's attempt to get evidence regarding your bipolar disorder before the Court. There are many factors involved in the Court's determination of child custody. You would best retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to represent you in your divorce/custody matter. If you are taking medication prescribed for your condition and your condition is under control, it should not affect your ability to get custody of your daughter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    In Ohio and Michigan, probably not much provided you are medicated and have a history of taking the medicine and are safe around the children. At your earliest convenience, please visit with a local domestic relations attorney to discuss your concerns.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Under Georgia law, in and of itself, It shouldn't matter unless it would affect your ability to care for the child as a single parent. If you are regulated on meds without any manic or depressed episodes and you can care for your child as a single parent, hopefully it would not have a significant impact. You need to discuss all of the details of your situation with a lawyer in order to determine the viability of your custody case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    A diagnosis of bipolar disorder - by itself - will generally not cause someone to lose custody. Custody decisions are based on what is in the best interests of the child. The parent who has been the child's primary caretaker thus far will usually have the best chance of obtaining primary custody, unless there is strong evidence that they are no longer a fit parent.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
    Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
    There is more to it than just that single issue. Nevertheless, issues of being on meds, maintaining stability and the like could negate a claim that the diagnosis is sufficient to find you "less fit" to be a custodial parent.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    It could. You need to discuss this with your lawyer. (It would be highly foolish to be in a custody dispute without a lawyer).
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 6/22/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    A parenting plan will be established in the best interests of the child. Your condition may be a factor, but absent harm, unlikely, provided you are taking the necessary medical steps.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 6/22/2011
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