Undoubtedly, a big life change, such as a divorce can cause emotional distress.  Unfortunately, a stigma regarding mental health support still exists.  Many parents worry that seeking professional help may make them appear unstable or be used against them in a custody proceeding. 

However, if you are seeing a therapist, acknowledge yourself for getting the professional help and support you need.  Your well-being is important to your ability to be the best parent you can be. But make sure you do disclose to your attorney if you are seeing a therapist; your mental health records can be subpoenaed by the other parent’s lawyer. For this reason, it is important to discuss with your attorney an action plan for responding to this possible request. It is also important to let your therapist or counselor know how to respond to a request for your mental health records.

Also, if your mental health professional has prescribed medication to treat depression or anxiety, make sure to disclose that to your attorney as well.  Taking prescribed medications and following through with recommendations from a mental health professional is important. 

Feelings of depression, anxiety and trouble sleeping are common during big life changes, so seeking help from professionals is in your best interest and the interest of your children.

Angela Lennon

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