Understanding How Psychological Evaluations are Used in a Dallas Child Custody Case

Psychological evaluations are only used in child custody cases if one or both parents feel that the other is mentally unfit to take care of the child or children. When either parent makes such an assertion about the other, the court will be forced to order a psychological evaluation. If you feel that your child’s other parent’s mental state will negatively affect his or her ability to care for your child, it is imperative that you seek legal guidance from a Dallas child custody attorney right away. An experienced lawyer can help you file a motion for psychological evaluation and guide you on how you need to proceed once the motion is filed.

Things to Consider Before Filing a Motion for Psychological Evaluation

Before filing a motion for psychological evaluation, you must be able to show the judge that you have some basis for doing so. You must be able to articulate to the judge what your particular concerns are regarding the other parent’s mental health and how their mental health directly affects their ability to parent. Furthermore, you must prove that a psychological evaluation would greatly assist the court in making an appropriate determination regarding physical and legal custody of the child.

Some things to consider before you order a psychological evaluation in Dallas:

  • Expect to be asked to undergo an evaluation yourself. If you make accusations against the other party, expect for them to retaliate by ordering the same treatment. If you are confident in your own mental health and parenting abilities, this should not be an issue.
  • Psychological evaluations can be costly. Divorce and child custody cases are expensive in and of themselves, and additional services such as an evaluation will only increase your expenses further. The average psychological evaluation costs anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000.
  • The results may reflect poorly on you. While a psychological evaluation may very well turn up results that in your favor, the opposite can just as easily occur, as well. If the evaluation reveals no significant issues with your child’s other parent, it may indicate that you have some issues of your own.

Preparing for a Psychological Evaluation Requested Against You

While a psychological evaluation does help in extreme instances of mental incapacitation, it can become an impractical solution, especially if you were “going out on a limb” and merely hoping the evaluator would turn up some mental issues. This becomes truer if your spouse were to retaliate and request that you undergo an evaluation, as well. Considering the financial cost of a single evaluation, having to pay for two can really eat into your divorce budget. Additionally, if you decide to withdraw your motion for an evaluation, there is no way to force the opposing party to do the same. You may still have to undergo an evaluation and help pay for the cost despite the fact that you withdrew your request.

Consult a Dallas Child Custody Attorney

Before you request a psychological evaluation be done on your former spouse, speak with a Dallas child custody attorney regarding the merits of doing so. In many instances, filing a motion for a psychological evaluation is not beneficial to a case. Our family law attorneys will discuss the merits and pitfalls of an evaluation, as well as consider the evidence of mental instability that you have presented. We will be honest with you regarding whether or not following through with the evaluation is a wise decision. To consult with one of our Dallas family law attorneys today, call the Law Offices of Stephen Clark at (469) 914-5564, or schedule your consultation online.