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How Does Mental Illness Affect Parental Rights in an Illinois Divorce?Many adults experience mental illness during their lifetime. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in any given year. While mental illness can be naturally occurring, it can also be triggered by major events in your life, such as divorce. Mental illness will not typically factor into divorce decisions, but it can be an issue to address when making decisions related to children, namely, decisions about parenting time or decision-making responsibilities.

Elements to Consider When Making Child-Related Decisions

Any child-related issue that must be settled during a divorce is made in the child’s best interests. If the parents disagree on what is in the child’s best interests, then a judge will have to intervene and make decisions about the allocation of parenting time and parental responsibilities for the parents. When making these decisions, the judge will look at various factors, including:

  • The wishes of the child, taking into account the child’s maturity
  • The ability of the parents to cooperate with each other
  • The level of conflict that may exist between the parents
  • The wishes of each parent
  • The needs of the child
  • The ability and willingness of both parents to facilitate a close and continuing relationship between the child and the other parent
  • The mental and physical health of both parents and the child

It is the judge’s job to understand the family dynamic as accurately as possible so that he or she can ensure the child has a happy and healthy life.

Illinois child custody attorney, Illinois family law attorneyMaybe. When the court determines the appropriate parenting time agreement for a divorcing couple's children, it does so with the intention of creating an agreement that has the children's best interest in mind. This means that the court tries its best to create the parenting time agreement that gives the children the best opportunity to thrive physically, academically, mentally, and emotionally. The best parenting time agreement for a child also often tries to give the child a substantial amount of time with each parent so the child can maintain relationships with each of them as well as their extended families.

If you suffer from a mental disorder like depression or bipolar disorder, it can affect your ability to effectively parent your child. If it does, it may be considered when determining the right parenting time agreement for your child. Suffering from a mental health problem will not prevent you from having time with your child, but it can be a factor in the determination process if the court feels it could negatively impact your relationship with your child or your child's ability to succeed in your home.

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