Under certain circumstances, they are. But this depends on whether that spouse has been diagnosed mentally ill or is merely being accused of having a mental illness by the other spouse.
You may be surprised how many people choose to falsely accuse their spouse and the parent of their child of being mentally ill during a divorce or child custody dispute just to gain an advantage. This practice is so widely used by people during divorce that family courts in Utah and all across the U.S. become skeptical and hard to convince when someone begins to accuse their spouse of being mentally ill.
“It is true that mental illness accusations are being thrown around in family courts so often and so inconsiderately that judges give little to no credence to such claims when they are not supported by actual diagnosis or medical evaluation,” says our Salt Lake City divorce attorney Emy Cordano.
Should you lie or stick to the truth during divorce?
If you think that falsely accusing your spouse of being mentally ill is an easy shortcut to gain advantage and prevail in your divorce or child custody case, think again. In fact, throwing around false accusations of mental illnesses or using any terms that indicate that the other party is mentally unstable in court may undermine your credibility and hurt your case in the long run.
Stick to the facts, and do not lie in court. If you think telling the truth will not help you prevail in your case, get an experienced divorce lawyer in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah on board. Keep in mind that without an actual diagnosis by a qualified neutral medical professional, accusing your spouse of a mental illness will not get you far.
Courts are biased against mentally ill spouses and parents
More often than not, people who falsely accuse their spouses of being mentally ill during a divorce do not know where they are going with these lies. But what about the family courts? How do they react to accusations claiming that one of the spouses suffers from a mental illness?
When a court acknowledges that one of the spouses is mentally ill (if that spouse has actually been diagnosed as such), there is frequently a bias against that spouse. Of course, there is. And more often than not, that bias is not in favor of the mentally ill parent even when he or she does not deserve this.
Not all mental illnesses make you incapable of caring for a child, and not all mental illnesses mean that you are an abusive, unstable, and violent spouse and/or parent. There are many types of mental illnesses, and, unfortunately, family courts in Utah have a very vague understanding of how these mental illnesses work.
How to stop the bias if you have a mental illness?
Intentionally or not, courts are biased against mentally ill parents in child custody disputes largely due to the fact that they do not understand certain mental illnesses. They are not sure whether or not this particular mental illness means that the parent is unfit to care for a child and exercise custody, which is why they usually take no chances with it and side with the non-mentally ill parent.
“But this is not a rational approach,” says our Salt Lake City divorce attorney. You do not deserve to be treated as someone who is dangerous for your spouse and/or child just because you have a mental illness. Many of those diagnosed with mental illnesses pose no threat to those around them.
Let our lawyers evaluate your case and ensure that your divorce or child support case is handled fairly if you have a mental illness or are being falsely accused of having one. Get a legal consultation by calling at 801-804-5152 today.