When parents divorce, they have to make a determination about who will have custody of the child. Parents must create a parenting plan together that details with whom the child will live and visit and more – the court will then adapt (if necessary) and finalize the parenting plan and order both parents to follow it. One thing that can greatly affect a court’s decision during a child custody, called “conservatorship” in Texas, hearing is the mental illness or mental health of both parents.
How Courts Make Child Custody/Conservatorship Determinations in Texas
Courts in Texas are required to make a conservatorship determination based on the best interests of the child. Furthermore, a court will make its determination keeping the following factors in mind.
- The importance of maintaining a relationship between a child and a parent who has shown the ability to act within the child’s best interests
- Which parent is able to provide a safe, nonviolent, and stable environment for the child
How Mental Illness Can Affect a Conservatorship Determination
In some cases, mental health may prevent a parent from acting in the best interests in the child. A parent who has severe depression, for example, may not be able to provide for a child in a manner that a non-depressed parent would. Or, a parent who suffers from schizophrenia could potentially create a dangerous environment for a child.
However, that is not to say that a court will not grant a parent who has a mental illness custody of his child; rather, it is to imply that it is important that the mental illness be under control (with therapy or medication) to ensure that the best interests of the child are protected. If a court has reason to believe that the child’s best interests will not be protected due to the mental illness, then the court can absolutely make a child custody determination based on this belief.
Contact a Texas Child Custody Attorney Today
If you have questions about mental health and conservatorship in Texas, The Texas Divorce Lawyer can sit down with you to discuss your questions and concerns today. Child custody is one of the most important issues you will ever be faced with – do not risk it by attempting to handle your case on your own. You can schedule a consultation by filling out a contact form online, or by calling The Texas Divorce Lawyer law office today at 214-265-7630.