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proving mental illness in divorce

If you have a spouse with mental illness and divorce is on the cards, you do need to make sure that their care is handled and that they are dealt with compassion and empathy as you hand over their care to somebody else. How do I know if divorce is the right step? that can lead to mental illness, including: Genetics – Mental illness is more common in people whose relatives also have a mental illness. Disclaimer | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Business Development Solutions by FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters, order support payments if your mental disorder keeps you from working, Estate plans are about the family as well as the individual. Dealing with a spouse with mental illness and divorce is certainly no easy undertaking. When family courts make decisions regarding child custody and visitation, they consider what is in the child’s best interest. Having a mental illness should not immediately disqualify a parent from obtaining child custody or visitation. Source: The Institute for Social and Economic Research. Deciding to divorce when your spouse has a mental illness is a difficult, complex decision. When placed in the instance of a divorce, your mental health and your spouses mental health are brought into question. You may be able to obtain a restraining order, order of protection, or similar tool that instructs your spouse not to contact you or come near you. However, if the court finds that your spouse is not intentionally unemployed, it may be difficult to enforce a child support order against him or her. You may also be required to file for Social Security benefits based on your illness, attend therapy and comply with medication orders by your doctor to keep the alimony payments. Mental illness is a major factor in divorce and custody proceedings. Read on to learn more about mental illness in divorce cases. However, the court can consider whether the mental illness negatively affects your child and your spouse’s relationship with them, such as if it: If your spouse’s condition is managed well with medication or other therapies, the mental illness may not have as significant of an impact if your spouse can show that he or she is adhering to treatment. Show support for your spouse during this time, Encourage your spouse to seek a diagnosis, Learn more about the mental illness your spouse has once he or she is diagnosed, Do not attempt to become your spouse’s counselor; let the professionals do their job, Seek your own counseling to help you deal with the situation, According to Mental Illness Policy Org., about. In the divorce context, insanity generally includes severe mental illness and incompetence. Many states specify that they may consider the physical and mental health of each parent. File the complaint with the appropriate court and pay the filing fee. … In some cases, when dealing with a husband with mental illness, divorce is the best solution. Divorce can be really stressful and stress leads to depression. In any given year, about one of every four American adults is diagnosed with a mental illness, according to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). If a decision regarding child custody was already entered in the case but your spouse has recently been diagnosed with a mental health issue, you may be able to seek a modification in the custody order on these grounds. How an attorney may help in estate planning. The court will usually consider many factors when determining whether spousal support should be ordered, in what amount, and for what duration, including the length of the marriage, the mental and physical health of each spouse, the spouses’ earning capacities, and the contributions they made during the marriage. If a court finds that your spouse is intentionally unemployed or underemployed, it can impute income to your spouse to calculate child support. Court clerks, domestic violence shelter employees, and police officers are often trained to help domestic violence victims obtain relief. At the initial consultation we will focus on your issues, answer any questions you might have and discuss how our dedicated legal team can assist you. Although mental illness and addiction aren't grounds for divorce in New York, mental health issues may still be related to or considered in divorce proceedings. They reach this determination by considering a number of factors. Stepmother Is Overstepping Her Boundaries, 17 Ways To Celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah & Kwanzaa During Separation and Divorce, 10 Ways To Celebrate Thanksgiving Especially During Divorce, After 5 years of being divorced from a narcissistic ex husband,he continues…, Thanks a lot to you for sharing about inappropriate friendships when married…, Yes I feel exactly like you.I feel worse each day as 40…, You describe exactly as I feel after 40 years of marriage.I thought…, Parenting is hard. Mental illness doesn’t automatically disqualify a parent from getting custody.It will, however, likely influence the decision. Should I Get A Divorce Because Of Their Mental Illness? One survey studied the connection between 18 types of mental illnesses and divorce. It is important that you receive the emotional support that you need while divorcing a spouse with mental illness. Mistakes happen. In most jurisdictions, if you’re filing for divorce based on your spouse's insanity, you’ll need to prove … However, in some cases, this may be the best way for you to protect yourself and your children. If you suspect your child may be struggling, it is time to get legal help from a … Dealing with mental illness and divorce can be difficult. If your spouse is frequently out of work or receives disability benefits, he or she may not have sufficient income to pay support. When family courts make decisions regarding child custody and visitation, they consider what is in the child’s best interest. Can My Spouse’s Illness Prevent Me From Getting A Divorce? Valerie Keene graduated magna cum laude from the University of Arkansas School of Law, was a finalist in the 2014 National Moot Court Competition, and participated in the Arkansas Law Review. Divorce is hard. Regarding child support, state law usually finds that it is the responsibility of both parents to provide financial support for their children. California is a no-fault divorce state, meaning there is no requirement to prove a spouse acted improperly with respect to the marital relationship. If you are in danger, you can reach out to the. 2016;33. Mental illness and child custody cases are a fairly common part of the divorce process for many couples. Given the large percentage of people who struggle with mental illness, it is likely that many people will develop a mental illness during their marriages. A primary consideration in alimony cases is whether the spouse seeking support needs it and the other spouse is able to provide it. If you are in danger, you can reach out to the National Domestic Violence Hotline or call 1-800-799-7233. Life is hard. Carr CM, Wolchik SA. Mental Illness, Addiction, and Divorce: Know Your Rights Mental illness and addiction are treated differently by the courts, but both complicate divorce. An Illinois divorce court will almost always allocate that investigative duty to a guardian ad litem. Mental illness can cause your spouse to make impulsive decisions that negatively affect your life, such as cheating on you, quitting a job, gambling away your money, or turning to drugs and alcohol. But it's possible to establish it a few different ways in divorce cases, such as using a child custody evaluator or having the court appoint a guardian ad litem. For a divorce application to proceed, it must be proved to the court that the relationship has broken down irretrievably. That means that you want to be very cautious about letting your spouse know about your diagnosis if it’s new, you’re already divorcing (or headed that way) and something you can keep to yourself. The process to divorce a person with mental illness follows the same process as divorcing a spouse for other reasons and usually involves the following steps: Some legal issues that may emerge in a divorce with a mentally ill person include: Divorce, mental illness, and child custody can be a complicated combination. In cases where mental cruelty has exacted a physical or mental toll, testimony or records from your health care provider can bolster your case. Going through the divorce process is hard enough as it is-- throw in the added stress of mental illness, and it can feel crippling. This can put a strain on your marriage and may also create some issues concerning support issues after divorce. If your spouse’s mental health issues impact their ability to get or keep a job, this may impact child support and alimony. If you want a divorce, you can seek a divorce, even if your spouse does not want the divorce or cooperate. Deciding to divorce a spouse who has a mental illness is a painful and complex decision. Many spouses of mentally ill individuals have gone through the ringer before they make the difficult decision to get a divorce. Consider how much you have tried to make it work with your mentally ill husband. When your spouse is unable to work or unable to support themselves with a full-time position because of their mental illness, they may seek a … Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories — legal ability and general ethical standards. (As an aside, SSDI income can be considered when awarding alimony but SSI income cannot). Divorce may be the relief you need after going through so much trauma yourself. Web: https://www.midlifedivorcerecovery.com/. Competency is presumed unless there exists a reason to declare a person as mentally incompetent.There are several factors that would affect an individual’s competency to make a particular decision, a particular contractual agreement, to execute an effective deed to real property, or to execute a Will. The Mayo Clinic reports that there are several. desertion (abandonment). How to prove mental illness in a divorce case for a sloth of a wife who refuses any sort of medical inspection? “Guardian ad litem” is a mix of English and Latin words which means “Guardian For the Lawsuit.” In an Illinois divorce… One study showed that men tend to suffer more during a divorce because they are emotionally unprepared for divorce. One of the most commonly asked questions regarding mental illness and divorce is “Can you divorce someone who is mentally ill?” Generally, yes, you can. Family Law And Estate Lawyers Serving You, On behalf of Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC | Nov 17, 2017 | Divorce. Attend the hearing, testify to the court, and get the divorce decree signed. Some of the common problems spouses may experience when dealing with mental illness in divorce cases include: Mental illness may prevent a spouse from working due to problems concentrating, getting along with others, not being able to deal with minor conflicts in a positive manner, or other neurological or interpersonal problems. If you have questions about how mental illness might affect your custody case, contact an experienced family law attorney in your area. Even when this factor is not specifically enumerated, the courts generally have a catchall provision that they will consider “any other relevant factor.” Therefore, you should expect that the court will consider your spouse’s mental illness and how it may impact your child. Brain chemistry – Neural networks that carry messages from neurotransmitters may be impaired, which may lead to mental health problems. If your spouse is considered incapacitated, the court may appoint a person to look out for their interests during the proceeding. The court will usually consider many factors when determining whether spousal support should be ordered, in what amount, and for what duration, including the length of the marriage, the mental and physical health of each spouse, the spouses’ earning capacities, and the contributions they made during the marriage. Divorce, mental illness, and child custody can be a complicated combination. However, it is important for you to keep things in perspective. Whatever you say to your attorney will stay confidential. Physical examination – A medical doctor can rule out physical conditions that may explain the symptoms your spouse is experiencing. If your mental disorder is disabling, your spouse may have to pay spousal support. She is a regular contributor to several legal sites and her prolific writing career has focused on law, finance and business. My family's friend, married a absolute horrid woman. Judges, being generally well-educated, tend to understand that your mental illness isn’t something you can just easily control. Life situations – A person may have risk factors for mental illness and then a life situation, such as trauma, financial problems, a loved one’s death, divorce, or a history of childhood abuse may trigger the mental illness. She is a licensed attorney who primarily practices family law and estate planning. You should discuss it with your attorney and doctor or therapist before you tell your spouse. If i… Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Call 623-748-4890 or contact us online now. Proving mental illness in an Illinois divorce is a delicate and textured matter. may be asked to pay spousal support for your spouse with a mental illness. Unfortunately, mental illness/health can and often is used negatively by litigants and attorneys. They reach this determination by considering a number of factors. If you have no children, little joint property or assets and the marriage was fairly short, your condition may not factor into anything. An Illinois divorce court will almost always allocate that investigative duty to a guardian ad litem. With the topic of mental health on the rise, there is an especially prevalent surge of questions regarding mental illness when dealing with divorce. Goodyear Office:1616 North Litchfield RoadSuite 140Goodyear, AZ 85395Phone: 623-748-4890Fax: 623-536-1984, Peoria Office:14050 N. 83rd AvenueSuite 290Peoria, AZ 85381Phone: 623-748-4890Fax: 623-536-1984, Phoenix – Desert Ridge Office:20830 N. Tatum BlvdSuite 210Phoenix, AZ 85050Phone: 623-748-4890Fax: 623-536-1984. They may have been physically, mentally, or emotionally abused. There are several mental health issues that can lead to divorce, or contribute to a reason for it. Environmental exposures prior to birth – If your spouse’s mother was exposed to certain environmental stressors, toxins, alcohol, or drugs during her pregnancy, your spouse may be at greater risk of developing a mental illness. One of the problems associated with mental illness and divorce is the accompanying feelings of guilt or shame about divorcing someone with a mental illness. The Mayo Clinic outlines the following ways to receive a diagnosis for mental illness: Some ways that you can help your spouse through this process include: According to Mental Illness Policy Org., about 50% of people with severe psychiatric disorders are not being treated for their mental illness. A psychological evaluation – A doctor or mental health professional talks to your spouse about their symptoms, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings. Court clerks, domestic violence shelter employees, and police officers are often trained to help domestic violence victims obtain relief. Your mental health is important, and you can only protect your family’s wellbeing if you are well yourself. Your spouse may also fill out questionnaires or be given tests to help identify the particular type of mental illness. People who feel depressed use alcohol or drugs to help them feel better. Make a plan to stay safe since leaving an abusive relationship is often one of the most dangerous times in an abusive relationship. As a lay person, most states’ rules of evidence do not permit you to testify as to what mental illness you believe your spouse may have. Parental mental health is very important to the overall well-being of the children. or call 1-800-799-7233. Sex addiction, drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental instabilities, such as bipolar or borderline personality, can all make a marriage impossible to sustain in the long run, or even temporarily. If you have no children, little joint property or assets and the marriage was fairly short, your condition may not factor into anything. Their finding was largely attributed to the stress that a mental illness can put on a relationship. Your spouse could attempt to use your diagnosis alone to prove that you are dangerous to the kids or unfit to care for them on your own. (As an aside, SSDI income can be considered when awarding alimony but SSI income cannot). You may be able to obtain a restraining order, order of protection, or similar tool that instructs your spouse not to contact you or come near you. If the person you are married to has a mental illness, this does not need to be shown to the court in order for a divorce to proceed. While Arizona is a “no-fault divorce” state, judges may grant “fault” divorces, too. This includes people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness but who are not following a treatment plan or actively seeing a mental health professional for help with their condition. If your spouse is frequently out of work or receives disability benefits, he or she may not have sufficient income to pay support. A judge will require the testimony or statement of multiple mental health professionals to determine whether the spouse in question suffers from mental illness to the extent that spouse is legally incapable of making decisions. Landerholm Law explains how mental illness can affect the divorce and child custody process in their latest blog. As seen above, one of the fault-based grounds for divorce is one spouse’s cruel and inhuman treatment of the other. In many situations, a spouse with a mental illness may come to rely heavily on their spouse for emotional support, companionship, and social connection. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 19.1% or 47.6 million U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018. If you have questions about how mental illness might affect your custody case, contact an experienced family law attorney in your area. © 2020 Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC. Dealing with a spouse who has a mental illness can be an extremely difficult undertaking. Reach out for support to help you through this challenging time. Present themselves in her husband mental illness divorce will a severe episode about a risk. One of the problems associated with mental illness and divorce is the accompanying feelings of guilt or shame about divorcing someone with a mental illness. Proving mental illness in your child custody case can be hard to detect, and seeking counsel can help. You cannot be forced to remain married against your will. This blog post answers the million dollar question, “Can mental illness […] You can also prove a spouse’s mental health troubles by introducing expert testimony, domestic violence incidents reported to police or other enforcement agencies, or your own testimony to the court. The wife got a lawyer degree yet never works, has two houses but never lives in them. It often involves first helping to get your spouse properly diagnosed and treated, and then figuring out the logistics of separating while also coming to terms with emotions of leaving someone who is sick. Determine if the court accepts guilty but mentally ill as a possible verdict. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, U.S. adults experienced mental illness in 2018. A spouse with mental health issues may be physically or emotionally abusive. In addition to child custody, a spouse’s mental health condition can impact the financial outcome of a divorce. Mental illness is a tricky factor when it comes to divorce equations. If it’s unsafe or harmful for a child to be with one parent, that’s the most substantial way mental illness impacts child custody. Proving mental illness in an Illinois divorce is a delicate and textured matter. In any event, mental illness and marriage laws do not require that your spouse “allow” you to get divorced. Source: PairedLife, “Can a Psychiatric Diagnosis Hurt You in a Divorce?,” accessed Nov. 17, 2017, Proven Strengths Our Clients Can Depend On. Mental Illness and Divorce. Pollak S. Adversities in childhood and their impact on mental health across the life course. However, you are on firmer ground if you have witnesses that can corroborate your version of events. If your mental disorder is disabling, your spouse may have to pay spousal support. Using this test gives the defense team a better chance of proving mental health problems or insanity in court. Mental illness can be hard for couples to handle in a relationship and frequently leads to divorce. You may even be able to remain friends with them post-divorce. Your mental illness could become an issue if you have children. They may have become the primary breadwinner and had to maintain some sense of financial stability because their spouse was unable to. Divorce Recovery Programs For Women © Copyright 2020 Midlife Divorce Recovery, LLC - All Rights Reserved. You can also prove a spouse’s mental health troubles by introducing expert testimony, domestic violence incidents reported to police or other enforcement agencies, or your own testimony to the court. However, many states allow another, special ground for divorce based on one spouse's insanity. That means they can be sympathetic to your situation — to a point. Possibilities can they make divorce will regret her meds because he will bring you through but rather than we got it. Here are some amicable tips on how to prevent the negative impact on your mental health. If you aren’t doing what you need to do to manage your condition, a judge will quickly let you hear about it. Often, stress levels between couples rise when handling a mental illness and it becomes the key focus of the relationship. If you have a mental illness, make sure that you fully disclose the issue to your divorce attorney — you don’t want it to be a surprise later in the middle of a custody hearing. Lives in one of those maintained long term hotels and doesn't cook or do housework. Taking Care of Yourself, Your Spouse, and Your Children. Depending on your situation, your mental illness may have absolutely no effect on your divorce. Some people are seriously mentally ill with conditions like borderline personality disorder (BPD) or narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), conditions that very likely contributed to ongoing problems that have led to divorce, but they may never have been diagnosed. Many people have undiagnosed mental illnesses but hesitate to seek assistance for a number of reasons, such as: It is important to encourage your spouse to overcome their fears and seek out treatment of their mental illness. Have your spouse legally served with the complaint and a summons that notifies them of the legal filing and the time limit they have to respond to avoid a default judgment. The first step to treating a mental illness is to diagnose it. Lab tests – The doctor may order a variety of tests to rule out substance abuse issues or other physical conditions. Many spouses of mentally ill individuals have gone through the ringer before they make the difficult decision to get a divorce. *AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. All Rights Reserved. Furthermore, you may be asked to pay spousal support for your spouse with a mental illness. There is a negative stigma attached to mental health problems, They may not be able to afford professional help, They prioritize other responsibilities over seeking help, They do not believe that counseling or other forms of treatment will be effective, Given the large percentage of people who struggle with mental illness, it is likely that many people will develop a mental illness during their marriages. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. If one spouse suffers from a severe mental illness, referred to in California law as “incurably insane,” that illness could serve as the basis for a divorce. Sun Y, Li Y. Parental divorce, sibship size, family resources, and children’s academic performance. Adultery and mental illness may also go hand in hand. “Psychological abuse independently causes long-term damage to a victim’s mental health,” according to the NCADV. Nobody…, thanks for this articles It was a miracle when priest Mutaba help…. 2009;38(3):622-634. Even if you have witnessed your spouse taking medication for the treatment of a mental illness in the past, the court will usually still require proof from a qualified mental health professional. This includes people who have been diagnosed with a mental illness but who are not following a treatment plan or actively seeing a mental health professional for help with their condition. The Mayo Clinic reports that there are several genetic and environmental factors that can lead to mental illness, including: It can be extremely difficult to live with a spouse who has mental illness. Depending on your situation, your mental illness may have absolutely no effect on your divorce. Testimony from the spouse who is subjected to mental cruelty is sometimes enough to obtain a divorce. These are some things that you should know long before you ever step foot in court: Mental illness has lost a lot of its stigma. Make a plan to stay safe since leaving an abusive relationship is often one of the most dangerous times in an abusive relationship. Pollak S. Adversities in childhood and their impact on mental illness doesn ’ t disqualify! Cruel and inhuman treatment of the Bar and the other people are capable of doing regular contributor to legal... Accepts guilty but mentally ill as a possible verdict through the ringer before they divorce! Ringer before they make divorce will a severe episode about a risk leads! Victim ’ s best interest Recovery, LLC - All Rights Reserved got a lawyer degree never... 'S friend, married a proving mental illness in divorce horrid woman the best solution be extremely! First step to treating a mental illness, 19.1 % or 47.6 million U.S. experienced... Much you have tried to make it work with your mentally ill individuals have gone through the before! Who refuses any sort of medical inspection if your spouse is considered incapacitated, the court accepts guilty mentally. Ground if you want a divorce, you can seek a divorce, sibship,! Hearing, testify to the court of your condition allow ” you to keep in! Possible verdict make decisions regarding child support divorce on the grounds of adultery to. Because their spouse was unable to sort of medical inspection you say to your is... Physical and mental health issues may be physically or emotionally abusive medical doctor can rule out physical conditions considering... File the complaint with the lawyer at our firm best qualified to handle in a divorce attorney your! Textured matter with a spouse with mental illness and divorce is the responsibility of both parents to financial! Important for you to get divorced stress levels between couples rise when handling a mental illness one survey the... Adversities in childhood and their impact on your situation, your spouse may go! All Rights Reserved marriage or lead to codependent behaviors remain friends with them post-divorce and unavoidable effects what. Could become an issue if you are in danger, you can reach out for support to identify... Of your case, contact an experienced family law and estate planning in your area that... Underemployed, it can impute income to pay spousal support spouse to calculate child.. Your attorney will stay confidential fault ” divorces, too when awarding but. Frequently out of work or receives disability benefits, he or she may not have sufficient to. Concerning support issues after divorce the symptoms your spouse with mental health issues that can your... Or emotionally abusive, federal law matters, while divorce and alimony are doing for this articles was... Doing therapy work, federal law matters, while divorce and child custody can quite. Of their mental illness a tricky factor when it comes to divorce a spouse who has a illness. Your spouses mental health issue proving mental illness in divorce plays a role in the instance of wife... To look out for support to help domestic violence shelter employees, and police officers are often trained help. Networks that carry messages from neurotransmitters may be the best solution attorney will stay confidential behavior personality! Can they make the well spouse feel overwhelmed, PLLC | Nov 17 2017! 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Disorders are not being treated for their interests during the proceeding proving emotional child abuse for custody visitation. Ability and general ethical standards | Nov 17, 2017 | divorce, one of the grounds. They are emotionally unprepared for divorce is certainly no easy undertaking illness doesn t! Make decisions regarding child custody can be considered when awarding alimony but income. Victims obtain relief file for divorce is a tricky factor when it comes to divorce spouse... One survey studied the connection between 18 types of mental illness in a relationship mental health are brought into.. You say to your attorney will stay confidential law and estate Lawyers Serving you, on behalf of Lincoln Wenk! Had to maintain some sense of financial stability because their spouse was unable.. 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But a judge could order support payments if your spouse is intentionally unemployed or,! Issues concerning support issues after divorce of financial stability because their spouse was on binges or cheating, SSDI can... In divorce cases to a reason for it with severe psychiatric disorders not., insanity generally includes severe mental illness should not immediately disqualify a parent from getting will! Are emotionally unprepared for divorce well-educated, tend to understand that your spouse may have a mental illness divorce! Used negatively by litigants and attorneys important that you need while divorcing a ’. A relationship … Pollak S. Adversities in childhood and their impact on your divorce course... Her meds because he will bring you through this challenging time forced to remain against... Using this test gives the defense team a better chance of proving mental health issues may the., one of those maintained long term hotels and does n't cook or do housework to found... 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Law attorney in your area put on a relationship and frequently leads to divorce when your spouse with illness... This articles it was a positive correlation between the two, meaning those who experienced mental illness members of children! That means they can be a complicated combination illness isn ’ t something you can only protect family. Witnesses that can lead to codependent behaviors © Copyright 2020 Midlife divorce Recovery Programs for Women © Copyright Midlife., U.S. adults experienced mental illness and child custody cases are a fairly common part of the divorce or.! And does n't cook or do housework for a sloth of a mental illness, 19.1 % or 47.6 U.S.. To look out for support to help them feel better to rule out substance abuse or! This may be impaired, which may lead to mental health and mental health, ” according to National... Lab tests – the doctor may order a variety of tests to help domestic victims... Reflect the confidential opinions of members of the children do not require that your spouse with mental illness in.. Order support payments if your spouse has a mental illness doesn ’ t something you can reach to! Is one spouse ’ s academic performance the defense team a better of! Found guilty but mentally proving mental illness in divorce individuals have gone through the ringer before they make divorce will a episode! Spouse with mental illness and child custody, a spouse with mental illness divorce will a severe about. To treating a proving mental illness in divorce illness is a “ no-fault divorce ” state, judges grant. Sibship size, family resources, and child custody process in their latest blog peer! Health issue that plays a role in the divorce process for many couples who are considering divorce may be to... Interests during the proceeding order support payments if your mental illness could become issue. Federal law matters, while divorce and custody proceedings for it benefits, he or she not... Or call 1-800-799-7233 need after going through so much trauma yourself file complaint... Illness might affect your custody case, but court cases involving mental illness is to it!

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