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A child's mental health could affect child custody proceedings

Addressing one's mental health is becoming a priority for more and more people in Illinois and around the world. In the past, mental health issues were misunderstood or often ignored, and today, more people of all ages are getting the help they need to address those issues. However, mental health concerns can be a sticking point during child custody proceedings.

Because parents want the best for their children, one parent may feel that he or she is better able to handle a child's mental health needs. If a child has already received a diagnosis, one parent may have spent more time ensuring that the child took any needed medication, attended therapy, practiced coping mechanisms or handled other related matters. As a result, that parent may argue that he or she should have sole custody due to having provided that much-needed care more often than the other parent.

Additionally, the court may also take mental health concerns of the child into consideration. For example, if a child has anxiety issues, the court may think that having the child move back and forth between homes could increase those feelings of anxiety due to a lack of stability. As a result, the court may consider sole custody a better option in those circumstances.

The idea of not being able to see one's child as often as possible can be difficult for any Illinois parent. If parents have concerns that their child's mental health could be an important factor in child custody proceedings, they may wish to determine the best way to approach that detail during their cases. Discussing the issue with their legal representation may help them find the most viable options.

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