Fighting A Dual Battle: Mental Health Challenges During Custody Battles

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Jan 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

Experiencing any divorce, especially one with a heated custody battle, can be one of the most stressful life events anyone can participate in. Nearly 60% of divorced men and women who had reported depressive symptoms at some point in their lives reported increased depression rates during and after divorce. Parents who are struggling with post-separation depression are dealing with multiple factors that can amplify their feelings of loss, such as legal costs, the upheaval of moving homes, and the intense uncertainty about their future custody arrangements. Although many parents may feel embarrassed to seek help because they think that mental health treatment will negatively affect their case, this can be far from the truth.  

If you are navigating a custody battle while dealing with mental health challenges like divorce or anxiety,  contact our Lento Law Firm's Family Law Team today for help. Reach out to our compassionate team by calling 888-535-3686 or using our online contact form.  

Taking Care of Yourself for Your Kids: Your Well-Being Matters 

Depression can profoundly affect your ability to engage in daily activities and care for your children. After all, how can you provide for your child's mental, emotional, and physiological needs if you can't take care of yourself first? Not only will your children feel that you are emotionally unavailable, but they will be affected by the irritability, mood swings, and poor communication skills that often accompany depression and anxiety.  

While many parents feel like seeking mental health treatment at this juncture is a sign of weakness,  they must model healthy coping mechanisms for their family and take substantive steps to feel better. Speaking to a therapist, joining a parenting support or grief group, or even making more time for exercise and personal hobbies can make all the difference in your and your children's lives. After all, there's a reason why the saying "Kids don't want a perfect parent, they want a happy one" has stuck around. 

Will Getting Mental Health Treatment Make Me Look Unstable In Court? 

There's a common misconception that seeking mental health treatment can negatively impact how a family law judge views parents during a custody battle. However, judges often view proactive mental health care as a responsible step toward ensuring the well-being of both the parent and the child. By demonstrating that you are taking the steps needed to maintain or improve your mental health, you are also showcasing your commitment to providing a stable and nurturing environment for your child and a mature level of self-awareness.  

The Risks of Neglecting Your Mental Health in Custody Cases 

Neglecting mental health issues can have far-reaching consequences in a custody battle. Untreated mental health conditions may lead to irrational behaviors or decisions that may cause a judge to believe you are unstable. A court's primary concern is the child's best interests,  which include a stable and healthy living environment. Courts don't require parents to be perfect, but they do want to know that parents have the necessary skill sets and tools to navigate stressors,  conflicts, and setbacks appropriately as they appear.  

Compassionate Family Law Attorneys 

Navigating through custody battles while managing mental health issues can be highly challenging. Still, with the right approach and mindset, you can emerge stronger and more resilient for you and your children. Contact our compassionate Family Law Team today by calling 888-535-3686 or by filling out our confidential online contact form.  

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings! He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.


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Attorney Joseph D. Lento has more than a decade of experience practicing Family Law in New Jersey. If you are having any uncertainties about what the future may hold for you and your family, contact our offices today. Family Law Attorney Joseph Lento will go above and beyond the needs for any client and fight for what is fair.

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