When Are Psychological Evaluations Used in Illinois Divorce?

 Posted on March 20, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyer

Custody disputes can be quite complicated to resolve when parents get a divorce. The people involved often feel tense and emotions can run high. Trying to figure out how parental responsibilities and rights will be divided can be especially challenging if either parent’s mental health and emotional regulation are in question. If one parent expresses concerns that the other is psychologically incapable of properly caring for their children and providing them with a safe and stable home, the courts will take such concerns very seriously as they attempt to draft a settlement that will ultimately serve the child’s best interests. In such cases, psychological evaluations can be very helpful. A knowledgeable Kane County, IL child custody attorney can provide more thorough information about this and examine whether a psychological evaluation might be suitable in your case.

When Is It Appropriate to Request a Psychological Evaluation?

If there are concerns about a parent with a history of addiction or substance abuse, mental illness, or other issues related to their ability to raise their children in a healthy and safe manner, psychological evaluations might be requested. Additionally, such evaluations can help determine whether a custody arrangement is in the child’s best interest or counter to it. Personal testimony and medical records are certainly useful in these determinations, but psychological evaluations can be extremely helpful in gaining a more thorough understanding of how the parent functions emotionally and psychologically.

What Does a Psychological Evaluation Involve?

A certified mental health professional will generally perform a psychological evaluation by giving the parent tests, conducting interviews, and recording their observations. They will examine whether the findings indicate that the parent is fit to raise a child or not based on their behavior, mental state, and emotional capacity. If a parent has any condition like anxiety, PTSD, addiction, or depression, this will also be considered with regard to how the condition impacts their parenting abilities. The professional responsible for the evaluation might also speak with the parent’s child, neighbors, relatives, colleagues, and others to gain a fuller picture of the person they are evaluating.

The court can then use the evaluator’s observations to determine whether the parent is capable of raising the child and, thus, how parental rights and responsibilities should be allocated. This evaluation is by no means the only factor considered, but it is taken seriously.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a St. Charles, IL Child Custody Lawyer

If you think a psychological evaluation might help your child custody case, a skilled Kane County, IL family law attorney can guide you through the process. Call Goostree Law Group at 630-584-4800 to find out more.

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