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When Your Co-Parent Questions Your Psychological Health

 Posted on January 31, 2020 in Divorce

Naperville Family Law AttorneyThe mental fitness of each parent can be an important factor when determining who should receive greater responsibility for the children following a divorce or separation. A family court or one of the parents can request a psychological evaluation of the other parent if they believe that the other parent’s mental condition may affect their ability to care for the children. You may be understandably upset if your co-parent questions your mental wellness. However, undergoing a psychological evaluation does not guarantee that you will lose your parental rights, and behaving calmly and cooperatively is the best way to prove that there is no reason to worry about your mental condition.

Granting an Evaluation

Though your co-parent is allowed to request that you undergo a psychological evaluation, the court will determine whether to grant that request, based on whether it believes that your co-parent’s claim has merit. The court understands that a psychological evaluation is invasive and expensive and will order one only if it is convinced that there are serious concerns about your psychological condition that may affect your parental fitness. If your co-parent is the one who initially requested the evaluation, they will be required to pay for it.

Protection Against Baseless Claims

Your co-parent is not allowed to use requests for psychological evaluation as a way to harass you or prolong the trial. Baseless allegations against you should be rejected and may damage your co-parent’s credibility when they try to make other arguments during your case.

Evaluation Process

If the court approves the psychological evaluation, it will appoint an independent examiner to oversee the evaluation. The evaluation process may include:

  • An examination of your general mental condition

  • An interview with you

  • Observations of your behavior

  • Psychological tests

Because this is an evaluation of your parental fitness, it is important that the examiner uses psychological tests that measure your parenting skills and ability to handle parental stress.

Court’s Conclusion

The important part of the psychological examination results is not whether you are diagnosed with an illness or disorder, but whether the examiner believes that your psychological condition affects your fitness as a parent. Whatever the results say, the courts will use it as just one piece of evidence in determining how to allocate parental responsibilities.

Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer

A request for a psychological evaluation can disrupt your divorce case and put you in an embarrassing situation. You need a Naperville, Illinois, divorce attorney at Calabrese Associates, P.C., to advocate for your parental rights and protect you against false claims. Schedule a consultation by calling 630-393-3111. 


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