Can I Ask The Judge To Order That My Spouse Get a Mental Health Evaluation As Part of Our Divorce/Child Custody Hearing?
Today’s question is a very difficult topic that I deal with on occasion here at the office. The question is, “Can I ask the judge to order that my spouse get a mental health evaluation as part of our divorce and/or custody hearing?” Divorces are difficult to begin with but when you are dealing with mental illness from a spouse, it can become an extremely difficult process. A spouse might get angry because you filed for divorce. A spouse might want to delay the process; it might make the process difficult and cumbersome. So I understand that this situation is very, very difficult.
When you ask the judge to order anything at a divorce proceeding, you must have a legitimate reason for that request. Asking the judge does not necessarily mean that you’re going to get your request granted, but failing to ask will always result in a denial. So my position is always ask.
If you would like the judge to order your spouse to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, it’s best to request it by way of a motion. Be certain that your motion clearly explains the reasons for your request and how your spouse’s state can have the potential to harm or threaten you and/or the children. Be sure to include specific instances and circumstances that give the judge the best information possible to make the best decision possible.
Remember, when children are involved, the judge is always looking to see what is in the best interest of the children. Therefore, the more information that you can give the judge, the better that the result will be.
One thing that I want you to keep in mind is that if the psychiatric evaluation results in your spouse having a serious mental illness that prevents him or her from holding a job and meeting their specific basic needs, you may be responsible for paying long-term alimony to support your spouse.
Remember also, to remain calm whenever you’re dealing with your spouse. And if you feel any sort of threat from your spouse towards you or towards the children, you may want to consider filing a domestic protective order.
I understand that this is a very difficult situation when dealing with a divorce and/or custody proceedings. If you would like to discuss your specific situation at length, do not hesitate to schedule a meeting with our experienced Family Law attorneys. To reach our office, contact us at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or schedule a consultation online.