Kids, custody and bipolar

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falling apart
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 1/6/2009 11:48 AM (GMT -7)   
Y'all may recognize me from my posts on other threads.....Hi again!

Now that it seems apparent that my marriage is going down in flames fast and furiously, I have to wonder about our children. I know, short term, I can facilitate visits for them with their dad. But, in his current state, I WILL NOT leave them unsupervised with him. He is just too unpredictable right now.

But, at what point do I reevaluate that? How will I know he is in the right state of mind to take care of our precious babes? Is that for me to decide or should I leave that in the hands of the courts? Should I just try to continue facilitating visits when he (husband) or they (kids) request it? I would ask his doctor to advise me on this, but I have no faith in his ability to treat BPD -- his attempts have only made things worse so far. I don't have access to the "new" psychologist he will see on Thursday.

The last wrinkle is that his assistant, who he has taken up with (so conveniently), is also mentally ill. I am not sure of her exact diagnosis, but I do know she has been hospitalized for suicide attempts in the past. I do not want my kids in that sort of environment. Is that wrong? Am I just being bitter now? I just cannot envision leaving the 3 of them with 2 people who are so needy themselves.

I hope this is not coming across as insensitive. I do not mean to paint all sufferers of mental illness with the same brush. I do not want to imply that the brave men and women who battle mental illness cannot be good moms and dads. It is just scary to think of 2 people with known, documented and barely treated issues (not to mention their history of substance abuse) having to look after our children. It really scares me to death!

Irrational? Responsible? Bitter? Enlightened? I can't tell..... What is y'alls take on this?

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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 1/6/2009 12:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi! I don't have BP or know anyone with it. I post on crohns but saw your post. I have been working on parental rights cases this semester. Typically, you will not have the final say on when your spouse sees your children. In your divorce the courts will probably appoint a guardian ad litem. They may request psych evals, do home visits, etc. Then both sides can present to the court why you should have primary rights (have the children live with you). You can say all the reasons why you don't want them to have overnight visits at this time. You can even say you will be willing to revisit it later. But, ultimately the judge will order when and who has the children.  The judge will put a lot of weight in the guardian's report - more so than in your testimony or your husbands.  Once the order is in place you pretty much have to follow it. If you think your ex's condition worsens and it is a dangerous place for your kids you will have to go to court and move to modify the order. If you just with hold visits you can be held in contempt and fined. So, I recommend you get a lawyer asap.

27 Year old married female law student (last year!!). Diagnosed w/ CD 4 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD. I am sort of lactose intollerant too but can handle anything cultured and do well w/ lactose pills and lactaid. For crohns I am currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day and hysociamine prn. I also have bad acid reflux and have been on PPI's since age 13. I have been through prilosec, prevacid, and nexium. Currently I am on Protonix in the morning and Zantac at night. I also take a birth control pill to allow some fun in my life.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 1/6/2009 1:06 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree with getting a lawyer. It is in everyone's best interest. You do not want to do something to jeopardize your custody of the children so make sure you can think of everything that your husband might have said to you in the past.
Even little things like if in the past he's told you he's afraid that one day he could hurt the kids in a fit of rage, etc - all of that will be useful to you.
Good Luck and let us know how it goes for you.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 1/6/2009 1:55 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes yes yes --- Get a lawyer. Custody battles are ugly for everyone involved -- but, we're putting the cart before the horse a little here. You don't even know what kind of visitation rights he wants at this point. He may agree to what you stipulate in the divorce agreement and there may not need to be a custody hearing. But divorce with children is often hard, and he may fight. Prepare yourself.


Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

falling apart
Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 1/6/2009 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks everyone. Serafena, you are probably far he has not even brought it up. He has only asked to see them once since last Sunday. He has called only one other time. He may not have any interest in anything other than visitation from time to time. We will have to wait and see. I would rather agree on it ahead of time than create some drawn-out battle. They have seen/heard/experienced enough. The kids don't need any additional turmoil.

Thanks again! I will let you know what happens next.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 156
   Posted 1/6/2009 2:44 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey Falling;

Man it sounds like you are caught up in a whirlwind right now. Keep strong & you will get over the hump. I can't really tell you anything that everyone else has. Hopefully everything will go smoothly for you, I'm sure nobody wants a long drawn out thing like this. All I can say is best of wishes & luck to you & keep us posted.



"The struggles make you stronger, and the changes make you wise, and happiness has it's own way of taking it's sweet time.
Gary Allan- From "Life Ain't Always Beutiful"

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 1/6/2009 3:35 PM (GMT -7)   

There is another option - to use mediation with an attorney, if you think your husband will work with you and have the stability to make joint decisions regarding what's in the best interest of the children. This will cut costs, keep the children's well being at the center of the divorce, give you and your husband control over custody agreements, and will hopefully prevent a court battle.

When I've entertained the idea of leaving my husband with our 2 children, this was always my biggest fear as well, knowing that we both absolutely adore our children. I am more concerned of the unpredictable behaviour that can be triggered by STRESS. Not good for making rational decisions or for anyone involved.

I am so sorry you are facing this. I am thinking of you and sending you strength and hope. It's very sad for everyone involved - he more than likely doesn't realize what he's losing, you are heartbroken and sad, and I hate it for the children.

More later, have to run for now...


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