I am in an unbelievable severe depression and want to check my self voluntarily into a mental health facility. But I don't know how this will effect my custody. My son's father already took me to court because of my bi-polar so that he could get full custody. and I am scared to check my self in because of the possibility of losing custody of my child.
I would seek the advice of an attorney before voluntarily checking in to a mental health facility. See a counselor or psychiatrist. Have them test you for depression to determine its severity. Use a Beck Inventory. If you are severely depressed, you may still be able to function as a parent provided you stay in therapy. Most importantly get help immediately.
Most judges would applaud you getting help for yourself rather than punish you for it. The bottom line is how is the depression affecting your ability to effectively parent your child? Get legal advice about the custody issue and make a plan for your child's care before going in for treatment so you can show that was of primary importance to you. Getting the help you need will model good behavior for your child and will help you be the best parent you can be.
The bottom line right now is your own health. If your depression is putting you at risk, then get the help you need. Since you have been to court before, you know that mental health status can affect custody. Your ex's attorney will very likely subpoena the records from any recent treatment. I would. However, a good letter from a sympathetic doctor, coupled with his/her probable eventual testimony on your behalf, can go a long way in your behalf. Just remember, whatever you tell the doctor may end up in the notes, which then may end up in court.
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