During a divorce case, it is normal to feel anxious, depressed or overwhelmed. For many people, the stressors that come with divorce are enough to lead to a prescription for antidepressants. If you are on antidepressants, however, your spouse could try to use this against you during a custody battle. While this may seem like a lose-lose situation, you may be able to avoid negative repercussions if you know what to expect during your custody case – and how to strengthen your position as a parent.
How Does Colorado Decide Child Custody?
Before the courts intervene in child custody in any divorce case, they will give the couple the opportunity to create their own parenting plan. If the parents can agree on parenting time and responsibilities, a judge will most likely sign off on the custody plan the parents create, as long as the decision is in the child’s best interest. If, however, parents go to court to determine custody, a judge will decide the parenting plan for them based on several factors.
Relationship between the child and each parent
Child’s establishment in the community
History of abuse or domestic violence
Parental conduct, including substance abuse
Stability of each household and parent
Child’s wishes, if old enough to decide
Overall, a judge will make a custody decision based on one main concern: the child’s well being. The judge will rule according to what he or she believes is best for the child’s health, safety, welfare and happiness after hearing both sides of the case. The courts generally try to keep both parents in a child’s life unless there is sufficient reason to keep a parent away. Co-parenting skills could help you achieve full or joint custody during a divorce case in Colorado.
Can Antidepressants Work Against You?
It is an unfortunate reality that seeking help for your mental health during a divorce could negatively impact your custody case. That could be the situation, however, if your spouse decides to use your depression or the fact that you are on medications against you. Your ex-spouse may bring these issues to a judge’s attention during his or her arguments. A judge may see this as a sign of potential instability and rule in your ex-spouse’s favor.
However, taking antidepressants could also be proof that you are responsible enough as a parent to get your depression under control. If you hire an attorney to advocate your side of the custody case, your lawyer could help you shed a positive light on your situation. Your child custody lawyer can explain to a judge that you are suffering from situational depression because of the divorce and that you do not have a history of needing antidepressants, or that you are stable and consistent even while on antidepressants.
If a judge believes your depression or taking antidepressants could affect your mental state, he or she will want to learn more. Your lawyer can take this opportunity to illustrate your character and explain to the judge that you are a responsible, even-tempered parent who is taking medications to strengthen your mental health. Your lawyer can show the judge you are taking a medication prescribed by a doctor, according to the doctor’s directions, and that you are not abusing the drugs. Your lawyer could also establish that your depression does not interfere with your ability to take care of your child.
Do not let your ex-spouse intimidate or bully you into trying to handle your mental health without professional help. See a doctor and do not be afraid to take antidepressants, if prescribed. Do your best to restore your mental health. Then, hire a lawyer from the Law Office of Stephen Vertucci to represent your side of the case during a custody trial in Colorado. If your lawyer can prove you are handling your situational or clinical depression in a healthy way, it should not interfere with your claim to child custody.