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Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC

Veteran’s PSTD treatment an issue in child custody case

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2017 | Child Custody

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PSTD, is often a condition found in military veterans from California and across the country who have experienced extreme circumstances while serving. Many veterans prefer not to discuss the details of their combat experience or other traumatic events. However, one veteran’s refusal to share the details of an event that occurred while he was deployed overseas is at the core of a child custody dispute in another state.

The veteran refuses to discuss the experience as well as the mental health treatment he has received to deal with it. He contends that his PSTD or the treatment he was given has no effect on his parenting abilities. He believes that he should not be required to reveal his medical records to prove he can parent effectively.

There is no evidence of any violent behavior or signs that he would be a danger to his children or himself. According to the veteran, a 2003 incident in Baghdad changed his life. He refuses to discuss the details of the event with anyone except personnel at the Veterans’ Administration in Phoenix.

The man and his wife went through a divorce in 2007. While the ex-spouses shared custody of their three children initially, full custody was requested by the veteran’s ex-wife last year. In the filing, she cites PSTD as a reason. The court continued to press the man to reveal details of his treatment. The decision was made in the case to allow both parents to share custody of the children, though the court directed that final decision-making authority regarding the children will rest with the mother.

Child custody can be a very emotional issue in any divorce. A California divorce lawyer can provide guidance in all phases of the process. An experienced attorney will work with clients to protect their rights and privacy. A knowledgeable legal team will have a clients’ best interests in mind and will seek to achieve the best outcome possible in the divorce proceedings.

Source:, “Can military vet’s PTSD records be used against him in child custody dispute?”, Joe Dana, July 25, 2017

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