Select Page

A divorce is challenging even under the best circumstances, but it becomes even more difficult if one person has a mental illness. Things like depression and borderline personality disorder can cause the divorce process to become exponentially harder.

One of the primary reasons is that stress can make the mental health condition more pronounced. Sometimes, these issues were present during the marriage but might become worse as the marriage dissolves. By the time the divorce is filed, things may have gotten really bad.

Child custody and mental illness

When there are children involved, their well-being has to be considered throughout the case. If one parent suffers from borderline personality disorder, things can become dangerously unpredictable. This condition is associated with an intense fear of being abandoned. It can cause the person to swing between having an intense positive emotions about someone and then having sudden negative emotions about them.

In a child custody case, the intense and unstable emotions might be triggered by the feelings of fear and loss that are common. The person with the condition might not think rationally, and they may not be able to make sound decisions. This could put the children in danger in the worst cases, and it may make coming to the parenting plan terms challenging.

Thinking about the children

The highest priority of these cases is doing what’s best for the children. Unfortunately, a person who has untreated borderline personality disorder might end up being a danger to the children until their condition is treated and managed. Even when the children aren’t in physical danger, there is a chance that they will suffer emotional damage due to untruthful statements made by their mentally ill parent against the other parent.

Trying to find the balance between encouraging a meaningful parent-child relationship and keeping the children safe is often complicated. The court has to look at all the factors involved to determine how to handle these matters.

Working through the case

If your ex has borderline personality disorder or any other mental condition, you should discuss your concerns with your attorney. Carefully document any incidents that support your concerns. The court can only make decisions that are in the child’s best interests if it has all the applicable information about the situation. Even though your ex has mental health complications, they should still be a part of your child’s life as long as they aren’t presenting a danger to the minor.