Putting Your Future First

The impact of mental health and appearance on custody

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | Child Custody, Divorce

Going through a divorce is tough, especially when children are involved. If you are a parent in Colorado struggling with mental illness, you may wonder if this could affect or impact your chances of gaining custody of your children.

When courts in Colorado make decisions about child custody, they focus on one major thing: the best interests of the children. This means they look at a series of factors to figure out what situation is best for the child’s physical and emotional well-being, security and development.

Mental health

A parent’s mental health is important because it has a direct impact on a child, so it is a factor that the courts must consider.

However, mental health is a broad term that encompasses many different conditions, some of which are mild and others that are much more serious and can have a more significant impact on the child and their development.

For example, if a parent has depression but is receiving treatment and can take good care of their children, the court might not think of this as a big issue.

On the other hand, if a parent has an untreated condition that leads them to act in ways that can harm the child, this could influence the court’s decision.

The best interests of the child

It is, in all truth, about the children’s well-being and safety. The court is interested in what is going to work best for the kids long-term, and while some parents may fear that their mental health issues might get in the way of their custody goals, the court is simply doing what it must do, which is follow the law to protect the child.


Now, let’s talk about the importance of appearances. Many might think this is superficial but we are not necessarily talking about a parent’s fashion choices, whether they have tattoos, whether they choose religion over yoga, or vice versa.

The court is more concerned with the parent’s behavior, and often, a parent’s appearance gives the court an insight into the parent’s life, whether it is by the way they speak, how they behave, their level of civility and more.

If a parent is regularly flying off the handle and behaving in ways that are inappropriate, the court might interpret that as an unstable environment for the child.

After all, if someone behaves a certain way in one place, especially an important one, like the courtroom, they probably behave at least in that way or worse at home, where no one is looking.

What about tattoos and lifestyle choices?

Some parents are concerned that their life choices could potentially impact the court’s decision on custody, even though they may not necessarily be harmful.

For example, parents who have tattoos, ride motorcycles, smoke marijuana (if this is legal in that jurisdiction) and engage in other less traditional lifestyles. It is an understandable fear and concern, but sometimes it need not be a concern at all.

However, if a parent behaves appropriately, cares for their child, their well-being, their needs, their hygiene and communicates properly, treating the child with the respect they deserve and giving the child what they need, the court may easily see through the outside appearances and realize that the substance is solid, which is what really matters to the court.

In summary, Colorado courts are not out to separate families. They are also not in the business of trying to find reasons to take children away from their parents. Courts want to see kids with their parents because that is ideal for every family. However, courts intervene only when necessary, according to the law and what the court sees as necessary based on evidence.