Does my daughter's father have a chance to get custody if I am bipolar? 26 Answers as of May 30, 2013

My ex boyfriend and I have an almost 2 year old daughter. He has a great stable job, a house, and hes very articulate and smart. I am currently unemployed and seeking a job as a cna. I have an apartment. I am bipolar. Will he have a chance at getting custody of our daughter?

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Milek Law Firm
Milek Law Firm | Mary Elizabeth Milek
It sounds like he may have a good chance. Natural parents are both on equal footing according to the law. Being bipolar would be a factor under the mental health part of the Albright factors, but this is just one factor. The polestar consideration is the best interest of the child. The factors are as follows: The age, health, and sex of the child; The parent that has had the continuity of care prior to the separation; The parenting skills of each parent and the parent that has the willingness and capacity to provide primary child care; The employment of each parent and the responsibilities of that employment; The physical and mental health of the parents; The emotional ties between parent and child; The moral fitness of the parents; The home, school and community record of the child; The preference of a child of the age(12+) sufficient to express a preference by law; The stability of the home environment and employment of each parent; and The other factors relevant to the parent-child relationship.
Answer Applies to: Mississippi
Replied: 3/29/2012
Michael Rose Attorney at Law
Michael Rose Attorney at Law | Michael Rose
If you get the court involved they will help you make a visitation plan. Make sure you take your meds and work with the father of child so both of you can raise the child. The child needs a mother and father.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/26/2012
Law Office of Melvin Franke | Melvin Franke
Yes, it depends whether you are taking medicine which makes you a suitable parent.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 3/26/2012
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
If you are taking your medicine(s) for your condition, you should not be prejudiced for having the condition.? The issue of child custody is?primarily focused on quality and quantity of parenting, rather than employment, assets, and communication skills. If you have been and continue to be your child's primary parent, chances are that you will receive primary custody.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/24/2012
Law Office of Joan M. Canavan | Joan Canavan
Since you were never married, he would only have a chance if he can prove that you are an unfit or neglectful mother. It is very difficult for an unmarried father to get custody of their child. There are many people who are bipolar and function very well with medication and counseling.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 3/23/2012
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr.
    Grace Law Offices of John F Geraghty Jr. | John F. Geraghty, Jr.
    Are you in treatment? Have you provided the primary care of the child to date? Does the child have any special medical needs? Who is the child attached to? I believe children become bonded in the first six months of life. You may have a lot more going for you than you realize.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Peyton and Associates | Barbara Peyton
    I don't hear anything that should preclude joint legal and physical custody if you two live close enough to share parenting. If your bipolar ailment is controlled by medication it should not even be an issue if you are otherwise a competent parent.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    The mere fact that you are bipolar does not warrant granting cutody to your daughter's father. There are about twelve factors the court will consider and your mental health is only one of the factors. The father would have to prove that your mental health adversely affects the minor child.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Just because a person is bipolar does not make him or her an unfit parent. My late mother was bipolar and she never got into trouble with DFCS or had a court declare her an unfit mother. A person who is bipolar needs to show that he or she takes the appropriate medicines and does as good a parenting job as he or she can.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    If he can prove that he can provide for your daughter better than you, then he can get custody.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    ROWE LAW FIRM
    ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
    In Louisiana, custody determinations are made "in the best interest of the children." The court uses a set of twelve factors which discuss the love and affection the parties give to the child, among other factors. One factor is the the mental, emotional and physical health of the parent, as it relates to their ability to care for the child. The fact that you are bipolar, alone, will not decide the case but will be included among the factors the court will consider. If your health condition is controlled by medication and you are compliant and well-functioning, that will make a big difference.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins | Dave Hawkins
    Yes there is always a chance of a change in custody. That is why it is important to hire an attorney if he does file an action requesting custody. The ultimate decision will pivot on what is in the best interests of the child, not on any particular fact or circumstance.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Burnett Evans Banks
    Burnett Evans Banks | Paul Evans
    A diagnosis of bi-polar disorder in itself does not make a parent unfit. Many quality parents have the diagnosis and are stabilized with medication. The bi-polar diagnosis would be relevant to fitness for parenthood only by showing a pattern of behavior (that may or may not be caused by the disorder) that is adverse to the best interests of the minor child (especially if abuse or neglect are involved).
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    Yes, he has a chance. A child needs two parents and if they don't live together and can't agree where the child should be most of the time, a judge will make the decision based on what is in the best interests of the child. The fact that you are diagnosed as bi-polar doesn't automatically cause any specific result. The question is what is the consequence of the bi-polar condition on your behavior and how do you manage the condition in the overall picture of your ability to be a responsible parent.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    The court left to decide which of the two biological parents is best able to meet the needs of the two-year-old child. From the general outline which you have provided it would appear that he is favored in the ability to provide for the child, but that is only one of the factors. You are diagnosed mental issues are also relevant to the court's determination but if you are under control and able to meet the needs of your daughter is certainly not necessary that you lose physical custody, legal custody or suffer diminished parenting time.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    The Law Firm of Hayley A Silverberg, PLLC | Hayley Silverberg
    The court will consider many factors, including the health of both parties when making a determination on custody.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    Custody is a function of what is in the best interest of the child. Being more articulate than the other parent may have little impact on what is in the best interest of the child. There are many factors that the court will consider.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Thomas P. Carnes, Attorney & Mediator | Thomas P. Carnes
    The lack of stable job, housing, and the mental health issues will all be considered by a court. And the law, as written if not as always applied, is not sexually biased.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Michael S. Edwards, Attorney at Law, PLLC | Mike Edwards
    The legal and physical custody of your child is something that either the two if you will have to agree on, our if you can't agree, a judge will have to decide. I think you would be wise to focus on trying to make a parenting plan with your child's father, focusing on what parent time arrangement would be best for your child, given both of the parent's lives and schedules. If both of you focus on that, rather than on winning, you and your child will do better.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    The court will decide who is the primary caretaker based on what's best for the child. If you've been the primary caretaker and have the closer relationship with the child and are stable, despite your condition, you will probably continue to be the primary caretaker if you can prove all that.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Kershinik Law, PLLC
    Kershinik Law, PLLC | Patrick Kershisnik
    In Idaho there are several factors which go into determining the custody of a child, all of which are based upon the best interest of the child. Some of these factors include stability and character and circumstances of all involved.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 3/23/2012
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    The fact that you are bipolar does not automatically affect your fitness as a parent; rather, the court would evaluate whether you are seeking (and following) appropriate treatment, and whether you condition actually affects your ability to provide care for your child. Ultimately, the court must enter orders in the best interests of the child.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 3/23/2012
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