When a parent has a disorder that affects mental health, it does not necessarily influence custody arrangements during a divorce.
Maryland courts work to protect the best interests of the child when determining child custody and visitation rights.
How does mental illness factor into custody agreements?
Mental illness includes a broad range of conditions and concerns that vary in symptoms and severity. Because of the vast differences in disorders, each case is unique regarding custody rights following a divorce. The courts look at many factors related to the mental health concerns, including:
- The parent’s ability to establish a stable home and provide essential care for a child
- The person’s past treatment history and symptoms
- The availability and effectiveness of treatment measures to keep symptoms in check
- The parent’s willingness to maintain consistent mental health care
- The relationship between the parent and child
Does a mental illness keep a parent from getting custody?
A mental health condition does not automatically prevent someone from getting custody of a child. Maryland courts aim to maintain children’s relationships with both parents. They address each parent’s ability to provide physical and emotional safety for the children. If a person’s mental illness puts children in potentially unsafe or harmful situations, it may affect a custody arrangement.
The primary goal of child custody laws is to provide safe care for children. Mental illnesses can affect people in many ways, so courts evaluate the unique details of each divorce case to make determinations. There are many ways to devise custody agreements that enable children to maintain relationships with both parents safely.