It can be challenging and emotionally difficult for everyone resolving disputes involving children. This is especially true when one parent has a mental illness such as bipolar disorder. In Australia, the family law system prioritizes the child’s best interests when determining custody arrangements.
Bipolar Disorder Meaning
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, affects a person’s mood, energy, and ability to function. This condition is characterized by intense episodes of mania and depression that can last for days, weeks, or even months.
During manic episodes, an individual may feel extremely happy, energized, and irritable, whereas, during depressive episodes, they may feel depressed, hopeless, and lethargic.
Factors That Uphold the Child’s Best Interests
The court considers a variety of factors when determining child custody, including the child’s desires (if they are old enough to express them), the parent’s ability to provide for the child’s needs, and any risk of harm to the child.
The primary factor in any custody dispute is the child’s best interests. This means that the court will consider the child’s physical, emotional, and mental health when determining what is in their best interests. In addition, the court will consider any special needs the child may have, such as medical or educational requirements.
Also read: Gaining Custody of a Child With Autism
Factors That Determine Child Custody Involving a Bipolar Parent
In child custody disputes involving a mother with bipolar disorder, the court assesses the mother’s mental health condition, but it is not the sole determinant. The court evaluates how the condition may affect the mother’s ability to care for and make decisions in the child’s best interest.
If a bipolar mother can demonstrate that she receives appropriate treatment and has a strong support system, she may be deemed capable of providing suitable care for her child. However, if the mother’s condition severely impairs her ability to provide a safe and stable environment, custody may be granted to the other parent or another family member.
Can a bipolar person obtain child custody?
Bipolar disorder does not automatically disqualify an individual from being a good parent. Many parents with bipolar disorder are able to manage their condition and provide a stable environment for their children if they receive the appropriate treatment and support.
Managing bipolar disorder can be difficult and may necessitate a combination of medication, therapy, and lifestyle modifications. Parents with bipolar disorder need to have a strong support network of family, friends, and healthcare professionals.
What are the key strategies for bipolar parents with child custody?
The key to being a good parent when you have bipolar disorder is to put your mental health first. This may involve taking steps to manage stress, getting sufficient sleep, eating a healthy diet, and remaining physically active. It may also entail being open and honest with your children about your condition and helping them to comprehend its significance.
A healthcare professional should be consulted if you have bipolar disorder and are concerned about your ability to parent effectively. They can offer you information and assistance to help you manage your condition and be the best parent possible.
Assisting our Client: Bipolar Mother and Child Custody
Our firm ran a case where we were able to obtain primary custody of a child with a parent that had bipolar disorder.
Our custody lawyer shows the courts that our client had her bipolar under control. The other parent was trying to establish evidence that our client was not taking medicine as prescribed by the doctors to show that we were unstable. We were successful in showing that our client had the discipline to ensure that the biploar was managed and primary custody was awarded.
Director of Melbourne Family Lawyers, Hayder manages the practice and oversees the running of all of the files in the practice. Hayder has an astute eye for case strategy and running particularly complex matters in the family law system.