Mental Health and Child Custody Issues

If you are a parent, you know how difficult and demanding it is to be a parent, particularly at certain points in your child’s life. The responsibilities and stress involved in raising a child can be problematic for a parent with mental health issues. While there are many parents with mental health conditions who are great parents, the fact is that a parent’s mental health condition can negatively impact his or her ability to parent, especially if the condition remains untreated. As a result, a parent’s mental health condition, to the extent that it affects a parent’s fitness or ability to properly parent a child, is one of the factors that a New Jersey judge can and will consider in making a custody determination that is in a child’s best interests .

A parent with a mental health disorder does not automatically bar him or her from having custody of a child. The fact that a parent has a mental health condition does not necessarily mean that contact with that parent is not in the child’s best interests. So long as the parent can remain an active, involved parent while still managing his or her mental condition appropriately, and does not put the child at risk of physical or psychological harm, that parent’s mental health disorder may not affect his or her ability to obtain or maintain custody of a child.

In a child custody case, a judge is likely to consider the following issues related to a parent’s mental health:

  • The nature of the parent’s mental health condition
  • Whether the parent is compliant with the recommended course of treatment
  • The stability of the parent’s home environment
  • A history of the parent being hospitalized
  • Recommendations from mental health providers and custody evaluators

Child custody cases can become very emotional and difficult, and even more so when mental health issues are involved. We know how to handle child custody cases that involve mental health concerns and can help you work toward the most desirable outcome in your case. Whether your case involves mental health or another family law-related concern, our New Jersey child custody attorneys can guide you through every step of the proceedings necessary to resolving your legal matter. Our role is to be here to answer all of your questions, calm your concerns, present your potential options, and help you to make any necessary decisions in your case. At Argentino Family Law & Advocacy, LLC, we have represented the interests of countless families and children in all types of family law proceedings. Contact our office today at (973) 868-0958 or by e-mail at and set up a time to talk with us about your case.