Although there have been major developments in the field of psychology
and mental health, mental illness and wellbeing remain largely misunderstood.
Many of the stigmas associated with psychology's past still pervade
the general population's understanding of mental health. That is why
it is important to spread awareness about certain mental health issues.
This blog discusses mental health issues that commonly affect mothers
in family law cases.
Depression & Anxiety
Depression and anxiety is a risk for mothers in family law cases. While
there can be a genetic and physiological component to depression and anxiety,
there are environmental factors like stress that can exacerbate or lead
to depression and anxiety. Mothers who are going through a divorce, or
wrapped up in custody or parentage proceedings experience an inordinate
amount of stress. Furthermore, mothers of young children or infants tend
to suffer from lack of sleep, financial hardship, sacrificed self-attention
and care, and emotional dependence.
Battered Woman Syndrome
Mothers who have endured abuse and domestic violence at the hands of someone
with whom they share an intimate relationship, typically their child’s
corresponding parent. One of the prominent characteristics of battered
woman syndrome is the “learned helplessness” and symptoms
that appearl similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Impact of Maternal Mental Health on Children
The bond between a mother and her child is vital during the developmental
years throughout its infancy and beyond. However, when a mother suffers
from mental health disorders, it can negatively impact a child’s
social and emotional development.
Under California law, a court that is tasked with making custody determinations
must evaluate certain factors affecting the best interests of the child.
Among those factors includes the mental health of the parties. Given how
close-knit the mother's mental health is with the child’s normal,
healthy development, it is conceivable that a court can evaluate the impact
a mom’s mental health has the on the baby when making custody determinations.
Of course, whether a court treats the mother’s mental health in
her favor depends on several other factors including the developmental
progress of the child at the time, the severity of the mother’s
symptoms, and the impact her condition has on the child’s prospective progress.
Contact Our Office Today for Quality Legal Representation
Are concerned about your legal rights in an ongoing divorce, custody, support,
or to her family law issue? If so, you should retain the professional
services of one of our legal advocates from Hanson, Gorian, Bradford &
Hanich. Our team of attorneys has the necessary grit and sophisticated
understanding of the California Family Code and case law to help ensure
you and your family are properly represented in family law proceedings.
To schedule a consultation with one of our skilled lawyers, call Hanson,
Gorian, Bradford & Hanich at (951) 506-6654 or
contact us online today.