Friday, July 4, 2014

I think my spouse is bi-polar/mentally unstable. How can I legally protect myself to keep son with me if I have to move out?

Q: I believe my spouse is mentally ill. We have 7 yr old. If I have to move out w/son. Can I apply for physical custody to protect son from being taken from me by husband. I have been keeping emails to myself documenting "events" that happen and sending to myself as a journal of sorts. Any other advice? I want to be realistic for outcome. I have begun to create a support network of family/friends. His Siblings /friends are aware he has a "problem" just by knowing him. I just started seeing a psychologist w/hopes of making decisions & coping skills for myself and son. I don't want to divorce but don't think its healthy for our son to live in current circumstances. Bad mood swings/rage/belittling.

A: The issue is whether you anticipate your spouse contesting custody. If this is your anticipation, then you may wish to consider filing for divorce along with an order to show cause for interim custody. If you leave without a court order, he may run into court & obtain an order requiring you to return the child to the marital residence.  -- David Bliven, Westchester Family Law attorney (

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