Can the Court Order a Mental Health Evaluation of My Ex In My Custody Case?
This question came about, because I had a client who was concerned with his wife’s mental state, and her inability to care for the young children. He has joint custody of the children, and when the children are with his wife, he is concerned that their needs are not being met. He wanted to know what he can do, and if he can ask the court to order a mental health evaluation of his wife, or ex-wife.
So, what I explained to him was that the court has an obligation to act in the best interest of the children involved, in any family law matter. When it comes to custody cases in particular, in family law, the judges have the discretion to order just about anything that they feel will be in the child’s best interest. Therefore, if the judge has reason to believe that a parent’s mental health may pose a danger to the child’s wellbeing, the judge can order a mental health evaluation. The judge will have a psychologist analyze the parent’s mental health, to determine whether that parent has the mental ability to care and provide for the child.
However, in order for a judge to compel a party to undergo a psychological evaluation, good cause must exist. It is not enough just to have one parent accuse the other parent of being unfit. The judge must have proof of the parent’s mental health issues, before it will even consider ordering a psychological evaluation. Before requesting the court to order a mental heath evaluation of your ex, you should consider that these evaluations are very expensive, and that they are rarely ordered. Rarely does the judge have significant enough proof about the parent’s mental health, to cause for concern.
If you are in this situation, and you feel like this is something that is detrimental to your case for your children’s safety, then I suggest you reach out to me or another attorney to discuss the possibility or likelihood of having the judge order a psychological evaluation of your ex-spouse, to protect your children’s wellbeing. To reach our office, contact us at (702) 998-1188, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by scheduling a consultation online.