Depression and Child Custody

If you’re experiencing depression, you’re probably well aware of how it affects your life.

Whether you’ve been diagnosed, are undergoing treatment, or you’re simply struggling with symptoms, there are implications for your life – personally and professionally.

One factor that you may not have considered is depression and child custody. The Texas statute on Conservatorship, Possession, and Access covers many details regarding decisions on custody and visitation, but don’t expect to see depression mentioned in the law.

Still, depression could affect your parental rights, so it’s important to discuss your situation with a knowledgeable Austin child custody attorney. Some answers to the most frequently asked questions may also be helpful.

Why would my depression affect child custody under Texas law?

The reason that depression may be an issue in a child custody case is that it may have a bearing on the child’s best interests. This is the standard that courts use when making decisions on child custody and visitation. There are nine factors in all, focusing on the emotional and physical needs of the child – and each parent’s ability to meet them. In some cases, the child’s wishes will be considered.

What are my rights as a parent if I suffer from depression?

Subject to the child’s best interests standard, you have every right to custody and visitation. The key is proving that your depression will not have an adverse effect on your ability to act as a parent. If you have concerns or doubts about your abilities, you may need to reconsider getting child custody. Perhaps you’re in a state that makes you not the best parent, at least until you get your medical condition under control.

How do I take action to protect my parental rights?

If you do suffer from depression and want to seek custody, it’s important to get as much solid, medical evidence as possible. You’ll need an accurate diagnosis of your condition, symptoms, and the treatment you undergo for depression. Of course, if the diagnosis reveals a dangerous form of depression, it’s probably in the best interests of the child for the other parent to have full custody.

Do I need to retain an attorney for a child custody case?

Though not required by law, it’s to your advantage to hire a lawyer to represent you in any child custody case – including one where there are allegations of depression. An attorney knows the legal concepts, statutes, case precedent, and court rules involved with child custody cases. These laws are very complicated and you put your parental rights at risk if you don’t have legal counsel in your corner.

Discuss Your Rights as a Parent with an Austin Child Custody Lawyer

There are many complicated issues involved with depression and child custody, so you put your parental rights at risk if you try to represent yourself in a dispute with the child’s other parent. You can trust a lawyer to advocate on your behalf and seek the best possible outcome. To learn more about how these cases work, please contact the Law Office of Ben Carrasco, PLLC. You can schedule a consultation by calling our office at (512) 320-9126 or going online.