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The challenges of PTSD, parenting and child custody

Living through a truly traumatic event often leaves its mark on the victim. It can feel as though life will never be the same no matter how hard you try. Even if you seek out treatment, you must still go through a process that takes time, and certain aspects of your life may never be the same.

Sadly, during that time when you struggle with what happened to you, the relationships in your life can also suffer. Your spouse may decide that living with someone with post-traumatic stress disorder is too much for him or her. Even after trying everything, the two of you can no longer live as a couple.

Your spouse brings your PTSD to the court's attention

If you find yourself in this situation, your future former spouse will more than likely bring your PTSD to the court's attention. Whether this is out of genuine concern for the welfare of the children, or to gain an advantage in the child custody portion of your divorce, you still have the same issue -- letting the court know that you can still parent your children despite your condition.

The court will probably want to understand your current mental state, how long it has gone on and whether PTSD affects your ability to work, parent and otherwise engage in social situations. A Texas judge will probably want to know if you suffer from any of the following issues:

  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Angry outbursts
  • Startling easily
  • Avoiding reminders of your trauma
  • Feeling numb emotionally
  • Strong worry, guilt, shame or self-blame
  • Strong depression or hopelessness
  • Losing interest in formerly fun activities
  • Trust issues
  • Feeling betrayed
  • Sleep difficulties
  • Feeling tense
  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts

The court will also want to know whether these issues cause you physical aches and pains. Another line of inquiry will attempt to determine whether you have issues with substance abuse and/or prescription-drug dependence.

The court questions your ability to parent

The court's primary focus is to do what is in the best interests of the children. For this reason, you will need to endure this type of questioning regarding your condition. The court's aim is to ensure that your PTSD does not adversely affect the children. Does this mean that you will lose the right to see your children? Not necessarily.

Remaining in treatment is crucial to staying in your children's lives. You need to show the court that you put your children's best interests first, and that includes making sure that you recover, which is entirely possible. Don't be afraid to accept help and support as you go through this challenging time in your life. A compassionate and experienced Board-certified Family Law expert attorney in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County or elsewhere throughout Texas, could prove invaluable in helping you resolve your child custody issues.

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5601 Granite Parkway, Suite 350
Plano, TX 75024

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Phone: 972-590-6572
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