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I have bipolar disorder and I am taking my meds regularly as prescribed. What are my chances of getting full custody of my son?

Aston, PA |

My son is four. I have been hospitalized for depression due to a failing marriage. I want to have full custody of my son and I am confident that I can care for him with love. I believe that the reason I was hospitalized for depression was because of the situation at home. We have been fighting all the time but never around our son. I simply can't take this anymore and just want to leave with my son and have a happy life alone...any advice is appreciated.

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Attorney answers 4


Good morning. I am so sorry to read about your situation. When dealing with any custody situation, the court looks at what is in the child's best interests. While it is impossible to provide a definitive outcome projection, it does not seem to me that a bipolar diagnosis will prevent you from obtaining primary physical custody of your child. Before taking any actions, you should speak with any attorney. If you like, please feel free to contact me at 610-446-0690.

This answer is for informational purposes only and does not in anyway constitute and/or form an attorney-client relationship.


I agree with Attorney Aitken. I would also add that in similar situations, I have recommended that the parent who has been diagnosed with a mental health condition seek a psychological evaluation to confirm that their conditions are controlled with medication and that the conditions do not negatively impact their ability to care for their child. This will give the court a level of comfort. Also, your treating physicians will likely need to testify.

My response is based solely on the limited information contained in the question. It is not meant to substitute your attorney's advice.


Hello. First let me say how sorry I am about your situation, and second, let me congratulate you on realizing that you need help, and are taking the appropriate steps to get that help.

I agree with the other two attorneys that being bipolar is, by itself, not a reason to prevent you from having custody. However, this is not the only thing a judge considers.

The judge's concern over what's best for you and/or your soon to be ex is secondary to what is in the best interest of your child. In Pennsylvania, a judge is required to look at 16 factors (see link below) when determining what is in your child's best interest.

You should speak with a family law lawyer who can address these factors with you and present them to a judge in a light most favorable to your interests.

I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors.


A disorder (mental or otherwise) should not interfere with custody rights unless the best interest of the child have been compromised somehow. If your treating physician believes that you do not pose any danger to the child and that your disorder is not so debilitating to the point that you can not effectively parent then it may be helpful for them to write an evaluation to assist you in the custody case.

Stew Crawford, Jr., Esq.

Crawford Law Firm
A Full Service Law Firm Serving Pennsylvania & New Jersey

Philadelphia Area Office
223 North Monroe Street
Media, Pennsylvania 19063


All information provided in this comment is intended for informational purposes only and does not, by itself, create an attorney client relationship. If you wish to consult with an attorney, or have any questions concerning this comment, please feel free to contact our offices through any of the above contact sources.

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