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FloridaLawyer, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
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Experience:  Experienced family law attorney in private practice
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At an upcoming probate/custody hearing I know one of the main

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At an upcoming probate/custody hearing I know one of the main things my wife (whom I am separated from) is going to focus on is her allegations that I have a mental illness and am not properly medicated. She will try to do this to show I am too unstable to have permanent custody of our 8 month old daughter, which I recently won for 6 months while getting a restraining order against her.

Here's how it all started..

Back a few years ago I had a therapist diagnose me as being bi-polar after we met for weekly sessions for approximately 6 months. I was started on a few different meds to treat bi-polar symptom and while never quite got to a therapeutic dose, I stayed on the meds for several years... but I was not faithful in following up with the psychiatrist. I just took my meds, got them refilled when needed and went on with life. Then back in January of this year, I started seeing another mental health clinician who after 2 months said she did NOT think I was bi-polar, but instead suffered from PTSD resulting form childhood trauma, which is very commonly misdiagnosed for bi-polar. The symptoms are very similar and I was told this happens all the time. But there is no medical for treatment of PTSD , it is all done though therapy (which I am still in). The clinician said her son was indeed bi-polar and in her opinion I clearly was not. I took two months and came off slowly. I was glad to be off the meds once and for all and after the first few months, actually started to feel like my old-self again. So much so, I got tired of my wife's lies and decide to split from her.

When my wife and I started to separate, she was very emotional and started to lie to anyone who would listen about things I did to her... friends, family, police and others were told i was physically abuse, spit on her and other nutty behavior. And she attributed this fabricated behavior to me being bi-polar and off my meds.

I am pretty sure she and her lawyer will try and use this to claim I am too unstable to have custody, and I want to know how I can best prepare for this? Do I get a letter written from the new clinician? Or is it better to try and establish her as the liar she is so her creditability is questioned to begin with. My 1st wife is also willing to come and speak on my behalf as never 'acting' like someone with a mental illness. Her and I have shared custody of a 6 year old and have worked very well together to raise the child as best we can. I am not sure how nest to prove that meds or not, leaving her was the best decision i could have made and best for my daughter while she works out her major problems.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FloridaLawyer replied 5 years ago.

Hello JA Customer,


I am an expert here at Just Answer and I would be happy to answer your question.


Probably the best way to handle this situation would be to bring in your own expert witness to testify at the upcoming hearing regarding your mental health. A psychiatrist or psychologist who can advise the court that you do not have any mental health concerns that would effect your ability to be a good parent is likely the best course of action here. A letter or written document by itself is inadmissible hearsay so you always need to have the person that wrote it, or in some instances, a records custodian available to testify regarding a document you plan to introduce as evidence.


Although it generally doesn't hurt to challenge the opposing party's credibility, the better alternative is to bring your own, more credible witnesses to testify on your own behalf. These witnesses can also include friends, family, employers, etc., depending on the amount of time you have alloted for the hearing.


To ensure that this testimony goes smoothly, I would strongly suggest that you contact a family law attorney licensed to practice in your local jurisdiction. Many attorney's offer free consultations and offer monthly payment arrangements. Also, your attorney can request that the court order your wife to pay your reasonable attorney's fees.


I hope this helps, best of luck!


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Legal Disclaimer: The answer provided herein is for informational purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. The information, research and opinions set forth above are limited to the facts presented in the question and no guarantee is made regarding the adequacy or accuracy of the answer. The answer provided does not infer or imply the establishment or acceptance of any attorney-client relationship. No claim is made that I am licensed to practice law in the state or jurisdiction where this information is being provided and you should always seek legal counsel admitted to practice in your local jurisdiction for representation and advice on any legal matter.

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