Will a PTSD Diagnosis Affect Your Child Custody Arrangement in a Military Divorce?


The Impact When One or Both Parents Are Active-Duty Servicemembers

Studies consistently show high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, among military personnel, particularly those who have been deployed to areas of active conflict. Unfortunately, many of the soldiers who suffer from PTSD are parents of minor children. Furthermore, PTSD has been shown to be a fairly common cause of marital strife/divorce. If your marriage has ended and you’ve received a PTSD diagnosis, will it affect your ability to either get custody of your minor children or have meaningful visitation with them?

The Impact of a PTSD Diagnosis on Your Custody Rights

Though researchers disagree with respect to the full measure of the problem, studies consistently show that anywhere from 10 to 30 percent of returning service personnel suffer from some level of post-traumatic stress disorder. One report found that up to a half a million veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan over the past couple decades show symptoms of PTSD.

While a positive PTSD diagnosis will not, in and of itself, prevent you from obtaining custody of a minor child or from having unsupervised time with your minor children, it will typically be a factor in the court’s final decision. In Texas, as in virtually all states, the overarching concern when making a custody determination is the “best interests of the child.” If you have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, you can expect that your spouse (or his/her counsel) will make the court aware of it and may ask the court to limit your access to the child as a result.

Most judges won’t simply limit your rights because of an adverse diagnosis. They’ll typically take a closer look at the details of your situation:

  • What kind of treatment have you received for your PTSD?
  • How active are you in dealing with or addressing your condition?
  • What, if any, types of medications have been prescribed for you, and do you have a history of consistently taking your medication?
  • Have you taken any additional precautions to ensure the safety of your child?

Come to Graham Family Law Proven Advocacy in Military Divorce Matters

At Graham Family Law, we bring more than 20 years of experience to men and women in San Antonio and the surrounding communities who need proven divorce and family law counsel. We are skilled trial attorneys who can protect your rights before a judge and jury. We are also respected within the legal community for our ability to negotiate effective settlements for our clients. Call us at 210-308-6448 or contact us by email today to learn about the potential impact of a PTSD diagnosis on your child custody rights.

Handling Divorce and Family Law Matters throughout San Antonio and the surrounding communities, including Bexar, Kendall, Floresville, Wilson, Atascosa, Hays, Comal and Guadalupe counties, as well as the municipalities of Cibolo, McQueeney, Marion, Santa Clara, New Berlin, Kingsbury, Staples, Redwood, Zuehl and New Berlin

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