My Attorney Is Ordering a Psych Evaluation on My Spouse. What Should I Do?
A psychological evaluation ordered by a court is something you’d see most commonly in child custody cases. You can definitely divorce someone without needing a psych eval! No need to worry about that. If the court has ordered your spouse to get a psychological evaluation, you do not have any specific obligation regarding the evaluation. However, below is an overview of the child custody psych evaluation process so you know what to expect.
Always discuss your case with an experienced Fort Worth child custody attorney.
When Are Psychological Evaluations Called For?
Psych evals aren’t ordered for no reason. Your attorney will need to present some evidence to the court as to why you think your co-parent is not well mentally. A judge will be assessing whether a psych eval is worth the time and expense and whether it is necessary to determine custody.
Again, you won’t usually see these in the divorce proceeding itself. They are most commonly used in evaluating child custody. If one parent has reason to believe that the other parent is not mentally fit to have custody or visitation, he or she can petition the court to order a psych eval of that parent. A judge may also decide to order psych evals for both parents. If you have any doubts or concerns about your co-parent’s mental stability and health, there is no harm in seeking out a psych evaluation. Your lawyer will need to file a motion for psychological evaluation.
The Judge Has Ordered a Psych Evaluation for Me
Yes, this can happen. If you file a motion for psychological evaluation, be prepared to undergo a psych eval yourself. A parent with narcissistic personality disorder, for example, would likely accuse the other parent of being unfit when they themselves actually suffer from a mental health problem.
Only tell your lawyer to petition the court for a psych eval if you are willing to undergo one yourself and if you have a genuine reason to believe your children could be in danger with your ex. It definitely happens where the petitioner who requested that the other parent be evaluated actually loses credibility in the process, and custody can go to the other parent.
What Does a Psych Evaluation Cost?
Again, please think about all of the ramifications before petitioning the court for a psych eval. The price for one of these exhaustive exams with a pricey professional can range from $1,500-$5,000. As Texas is a community property state, some divorcing couples may end up splitting their legal bills 50/50, which means you yourself might end up paying for your spouse’s psych eval in some cases.
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There are so many intricacies to the child custody and divorce process in Texas; let Mims, Ballew, & Hollingsworth guide you through this jungle. Our Fort Worth, TX, divorce lawyers have the right experience and knowledge to get you from A to Z as efficiently as possible. Reach out on our online form to set up a free consultation today.