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Need help on custody question w/ mentally ill husband

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Latest post Thu, Sep 27 2007 11:16 AM by Drew. 3 replies.
  • Tue, Sep 25 2007 1:41 AM

    Question [=?] Need help on custody question w/ mentally ill husband

    My husband and I are separated and I am thinking of filing for divorce in tx. He has had bi-polar disorder for several years. He has major episodes at least once a year where he can't hold down a job, doesn't get out of bed, can't care for himself much less his 3yr old son. He's been hospitalized several times. What rights would I have regarding custody? I'm so afraid of leaving my son with his dad in a middle of an episode. Would there be a good chance of me getting sole legal and physical custody of my son due to his dad's mental illness?

    Thank you for any feedback you can provide.
  • Tue, Sep 25 2007 11:22 AM In reply to

    Feedback [*=*] re: Need help on custody question w/ mentally ill husband

    You pobably have a good chance of getting custody but just because he is bi polar does not mean he will not have rights to the child. If he ask for unsupervised visits he does have a chance of getting them. You have the burden of proving he is a danger to the child. See an attorney.
  • Tue, Sep 25 2007 11:27 AM In reply to

    • SMG63
    • Top 100 Contributor
    • Joined on Sun, Oct 16 2005
    • Posts 637

    re: Need help on custody question w/ mentally ill husband

    It would be necessary to build a strong case, not of his mental illness, but of his instability. You will need as much concrete evidence as possible to bring into court.

    Even then, the courts generally take the view that until the person harms your child, you have nothing to fear. I'd push for the most stringent (keep your emotions out of it) and hope for the best.

    I have full custody of my daughter whose dad is a rapid cycling bi-polar w/ borderline personality disorder. In our orders, he's required to attend counseling and stay on his meds. He's also required to allow the counselor to speak with me. Unfortunately, once he gets done with them, I'm the evil ex and they won't tell me a thing and so far have been very uncooperative. I have no idea if he's still on his meds, but his actions speak that he's off them. The rub is how to prove it when the professionals won't comply with the orders?

    I'd recommend going for supervised visitation through a visitation exchange program, if at all possible. Even then, it will be up to the judge and how strongly you're able to present your case reflecting his instability and poor temperment.

    I feel for you. My heart is in my throat every time my ex leaves with my daughter. I never know if she'll return or not. Last visit, just this past weekend, he left my home in tears with her in his truck. He was enraged by the end of the visit and was hateful and belligerent to everyone - including the kids. He was physically abusive toward me and my oldest daughter, yet the courts don't see him as a threat to his other kids. Sigh....I don't get it.

  • Thu, Sep 27 2007 11:16 AM In reply to

    • Drew
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,431

    re: Need help on custody question w/ mentally ill husband

    Caution--in some states you can get stuck to support a disabled EX spouse for rest of his life/disability plus once divorced the EX is off your medical insurance, if any.

    Sometimes it makes sense to come to alternate arrangements.

    You'd be wise to run issue past good TX divorce counsel first.

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