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Mental Health Evaluations in Child Custody and Divorce Cases

Posted on May 23, 2023 in Family Law

Arlington Heights Family Law AttorneyIn a divorce or child-related legal dispute, Illinois courts always want to ensure that the children's safety and well-being are paramount. In order to ensure that a child custody arrangement is in a child's best interest, the court sometimes requires parents to undergo psychological testing or a mental health evaluation. Sometimes, a mental health evaluation is requested by one of the parents, in other cases, the court orders psychological testing.

If you are getting divorced or going through a child custody case, you may have many questions and concerns about how mental health evaluations are used and what they entail. Each case is different; however, this blog will give a general outline of mental health evaluations in Illinois family law cases.

Who Has to Undergo Psychological Testing?

Psychological testing can be time-consuming, invasive, and expensive. Consequently, it is only used when necessary to ensure the well-being of a child. The court has the authority to order psychological testing if the court believes that a parent could have a psychological or mental health condition that influences the case.

A parent may also ask the court to order psychological testing of the other parent if there are concerns about a serious mental health issue that could endanger the children. The court may choose to deny this request if it is deemed unnecessary.

What Happens During a Mental Health Evaluation or Test?

Mental health evaluations are conducted by a licensed mental health professional. The evaluator may observe the parent’s behavior, interview the parent about his or her thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, or ask the parent to take a written psychological test. For example, a parent may be asked to take a test specifically designed to evaluate the parent-child relationship, such as the Parent Child Relationship Inventory (PCRI).

Does Having a Mental Health Condition Mean You Will Not Get Custody?

Serious mental health conditions may affect a court’s determination regarding the allocation of parental responsibilities and parenting time. Nonetheless, Illinois courts recognize that mental health conditions such as depression and bipolar disorder are extremely common. Many parents with mental health conditions are fully capable of providing the love, safety, and attention their child needs.

Contact our Arlington Heights Child Custody Lawyers

Mental health evaluations, psychological testing, child custody evaluations, and similar evaluations may be used to ensure that a case outcome is in the child's best interests.

If you are getting divorced and you have concerns about the other parent’s mental health, or your own psychological well-being has been called into question, it is important to have an experienced legal advocate on your side. Our Arlington Heights divorce attorneys are experienced in complicated child custody and divorce disputes. We can represent you during your case and help you seek the outcome that is in your child's best interest. Call 847-749-4182 for a confidential consultation.




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