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Custody and Medication Compliance

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solus sto posted 6/6/2013 12:10 PM

I have a question---asked on behalf of my future son-in-law. He's divorced, but custody issues are not yet concrete.

His marriage was brief. He deployed before his son was born, then returned from Afghanistan to a multi-cheating wife (of the Craigslist-ad variety). They separated immediately.

Parental alienation has been a HUGE part of the equation.

This is a guy I've known since he was a kid. He is sweet---but, since his deployment, depressed. He has been prescribed meds for this---and needs them. When he takes them, he copes very well with the traumas he's experienced.

His divorce attorney believes that there is a strong case for him to gain custody--at least half time. The conditions in which his child lives are abysmal, making full custody realistic.

His divorce attorney is kind of an idiot. He offhandedly mentioned that it might be "look better to the judge" if SIL stopped taking his meds. This good---albeit depressed --man who returned from war to find his life HERE imploded--is now white-knuckling without meds, at HUGE personal cost.

Never mind that it's not SAFE to abruptly stop meds.

With meds, he can work constructively toward recovery from the traumas he's experienced, and be a great father. NO ONE would EVER suggest that a father returning from war to an intact family stop his meds---but this lawyer's thinking aloud is, IMO, reducing the odds of gaining custody of this little boy who NEEDS a stable home.

Can you please share your experiences with me? It seems to me that the need for antidepressants would not be even a blip on a judge's radar. If I were a judge--and obviously I'm not---I'd be far more concerned about noncompliance with a prescribed regimen. Am I completely off the mark?

betrayedfriend posted 6/6/2013 12:57 PM

He needs to get back on his meds, and speak to his doctors about his medical regimen to see if there are any addictive side effects... Going off cold turkey is probably about the worst thing he can do for his mental health, and if his mental health is struggling, but he functions well on AD's then he needs to be on them, his attorney is an idiot.

5454real posted 6/6/2013 13:09 PM

New lawyer or have a sit down and have him/her explain why it's a bad thing to take drugs to cure an illness. Do high blood pressure meds count against you also? What about hormone treatments?

In my case, EXW tried to use my use of AD's against me. My lawyer simply asked EXW "who wouldn't be depressed going through D with a cheating spouse?" Really pissed her off because it brought her cheating back into focus rather than the AD's.

Good luck!

BTW I got custody. She fought that all the way to the state supreme court. It can be done with competent legal representation.

solus sto posted 6/6/2013 14:43 PM

Thank you. I am SO frustrated with this situation, because the poor kid is desperate to see his son, and is willing to do whatever it takes to do so----but is being given really bad advice.

Nature_Girl posted 6/6/2013 14:55 PM

AD meds do not carry the same social stigma they once di. That lawyer is off his rocker. What DOES look good is for your future SIL to be following his doctor's orders, which includes the prescribed AD meds, and demonstrate his serious efforts to get his life under control & provide a safe, loving home for his child. It is possible that one day he'll have his shit together enough that he can step down the AD's to a point he doesn't need them. That would be a wonderful goal and certainly something that could be mentioned in court if need be. But for the time being he needs AD's to help him get through a temporary shitstorm in his life.

There is no shame or stigma on this any longer. You know what's funny? My lawyer was stunned to learn a few weeks ago that I am NOT on AD meds. All this time he just assumed I was having chemical help to cope with this calamity.

DeadMumWalking posted 6/6/2013 15:00 PM

This just makes me so mad, if he were diabetic would the L say to stop taking insulin? If his leg were broken would he suggest sawing off the cast?? etc etc we can all think of a million more of these examples.

Guy has a MEDICAL ISSUE that he is dealing with in consultation with A DOCTOR and RESPONSIBLY following the doctor's orders. WTF is so hard to understand about that???


I hope this gets straightened out before he LOSES custody because he is not taking his PRESCRIBED MEDICATION!!!!!!!

Pass posted 6/6/2013 15:44 PM

I would be a mess without my antidepressants. I'm probably on them for life, and I'm totally okay with it.

That lawyer is an idiot.

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