If you have an official mental illness diagnosis such as anxiety or depression and seek custody of your child, you may wonder if your illness could impact the outcome. You want to do right by yourself and your child, but you also want to protect your legal rights as a parent.

GoodTherapy offers insights that could be of great help and relief. Understand how to build your case and take care of your son or daughter.

Your ability to care for your child

Whether mental illness impacts your child custody case boils down to if the illness interferes with your ability to take care of your child. The odds are not in your favor if your child lives in an unsafe environment while in your custody, or if you do not tend to your child’s basic needs. If you intentionally harm yourself or become aggressive, or if you cannot take proper care of yourself, either scenario degrades your chances of gaining custody.

Your overall diagnosis

Just because you received a diagnosis for a mental illness does not automatically mean you cannot gain custody of your child, so do not be afraid to admit your diagnosis to a judge. The most important thing is that you show you take steps to manage your illness and its symptoms. Strengthen your case by going to therapy if you do not already. Additional treatment may not only improve your case, but it can also help you to better manage your illness and improve your life.

Rather than try to hide your mental illness during a child custody case, be open and honest about it and your efforts to manage it. Show you are a fit and caring parent.