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Modifying A Parenting Plan After A Parent Suffers A Mental Health Emergency


When the masks come off and hanging out in coffee shops and restaurants to pass the time becomes cool again, we should remember the lessons we learned about mental health during the pandemic, specifically, that seeking help for your own mental health struggles is the best thing that you can do with your family, and that family members who seek help need your acceptance and support, not embarrassment and guilt trips.  If your medical history includes treatment by psychiatrists, do not worry if your spouse tries to use this against you during your divorce or child custody case.  The Daubert Standard requires that judges only accept evidence about medical and scientific matters from credible sources, namely people with the appropriate educational credentials who cite research only from peer-reviewed studies which are transparent about their methodology.  If your mental health history or that of your ex-spouse is becoming an issue in your child custody case, contact a Palm Beach County child custody lawyer.

Aunt Intervenes When Dad Suffers Mental Health Crisis During His Parenting Time

Robert and Blenda divorced in Texas in 2015 when both of their children were minors, and Blenda moved to Putnam County, Florida shortly after divorce.  The final parenting plan was issued in Texas and it accounted for the children spending some days of the year in Florida with Blenda and others in Texas with Robert; it also made arrangements for transport of the children between Florida and Texas.  In November 2015, while the children were with him, Robert suffered a mental health crisis which, according to the court decision, involved “hearing voices and suicidal ideology.”  Robert’s sister Ann traveled to Texas, picked up the children, and brought them to her home in Orlando, and Robert was admitted to a hospital for treatment and released several days later.  Shortly after the children arrived in Orlando, Blenda picked them up from Ann’s house and brought them to her home in Putnam County.

Blenda petitioned the court in Florida to temporarily suspend Robert’s parenting time until his condition became stable and to modify the child support order accordingly.  Robert sent letters to Blenda, describing the medications he was taking, in an effort to convince her that he was well enough to exercise his parenting time.  The family court in Florida accepted Blenda’s request to suspend Robert’s parenting time temporarily (typically, family courts review situations like these every six months and modify the timesharing arrangements as appropriate), and it instructed the family court in Texas to adopt its decision.  If the parent’s condition is improving, but he has not been asymptomatic for an extended period, the court might order supervised visitation.

Let Us Help You Today

The health of the parents is only one of the factors on which the family courts decide parenting time, and chronic illnesses do not take away your right to spend time with your children.  A Boca Raton child custody & parenting plan lawyer can help to increase or reinstate your parenting time after a health struggle.  Contact Schwartz | White for a consultation.



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