If you are going through a divorce and believe that your spouse has serious mental health issues that could affect their parenting, you should ask your attorney about filing a Motion for Psychological Evaluation. A Psychological Evaluation is designed to determine whether your spouse’s mental or emotional health will jeopardize your children’s safety, health, or well-being.
If the court grants this motion, your spouse will be evaluated by a psychologist. They will investigate any previous mental health treatment received; previously reported substance abuse or mental health diagnoses; the relationship between your spouse and the children; your spouse’s personal history; etc. Once the psychologist is finished, they will prepare a report assessing your spouse’s mental health and an opinion of whether they are fit to parent your children.
While it is not uncommon for parties in divorce proceedings to accuse each other of emotional or mental instability, psychological evaluations should only be used when there is concrete evidence that a parent is not equipped to properly ensure a child’s safety, health, and well-being. If the psychologist finds that your spouse is not mentally well enough to be a fit parent to your child, then the report will bolster your case; however, if they find that your spouse has excellent mental health and is fit to parent your child, your spouse may be able to use the report to undermine your credibility. You should consult your attorney when deciding whether to file a Motion for Psychological Evaluation.