In this video, our Polk County mental health attorneys explain if mental illness factors in custody cases. The court considers all factors when deciding the child's best interests. Mental illness can mean many different things, but if one of the parents has a diagnosed condition or has a history of signs and symptoms indicative of mental illness, the court can't simply ignore a fact of the case. When making a decision on custody and parenting time, the court will look at both parent's behavior. If a parent has a history of providing a stable environment, mental illness should not be used against that parent. However, if the parent's condition is poorly managed, leading to behavior that places the child in jeopardy, they should expect it to reflect in the ruling.