In New Jersey, can a parent be denied child custody (or can custody rights be modified, e.g., require a neutral party present during visitations) when one parent has been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder? If not, which type of mental illness could have such results?


In a child custody proceeding, in pretty much every U.S. jurisdiction, when the parties don't reach a mutual agreement, a single judge hears evidence and makes a decision designed to be "in the best interests of the child."

There is no real further guidance than that to the judge and pretty much everything about the parents from their personalities to actual diagnosed mental health conditions may be considered insofar as that influences the well being of the child. There are almost no categorial rules (although a number of states have recently passed laws denying rapists parenting rights).

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  • Thanks for your answer. As a lay person, seeing that mild anxiety disorder is reasonably common, and the witnessing of which is of little harm to a child I can see, how likely do you see this to result in complete loss of custody? – gnometorule Aug 5 '17 at 0:11
  • Complete loss of custody is quite unlikely, in general, but since decisions are made by individual judges, those decisions can be very idiosyncratic. – ohwilleke Aug 6 '17 at 17:39
  • Thanks for at least sharing an opinion that is better than my layman's. :) – gnometorule Aug 9 '17 at 3:23

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