In certain custody cases, a party may call into question the mental health
of the other party or a child of the parties. A motion for a psychological
evaluation may be made by a party. It can determine whether a psychological
disorder exists and may recommend treatment.
A custody evaluation typically interviews and tests all persons in the
family (except infants) and includes an evaluation of the parents and
usually the children and makes recommendations for custodial terms of
the parties. The court is not bound by the findings or recommendations
of the evaluation, but does consider it a factor in determining what is
in a child’s best interest.
A psychological or custody evaluation is typically performed by a psychologist,
psychiatrist or a social worker. The tests administered and the length
and extent of the interview and evaluation can vary greatly.
If you seek an evaluation of a party, child or a family, you should proceed
into court with solid examples of why an evaluation is needed. It also
helps to have names of available, experienced mental health professionals
to recommend and define what tests and matters you would like to see administered/addressed,
specific matters you want addressed (such as educational needs, substance
abuse, reunification) and suggestions how the expense of the evaluation
will be paid.
Talk to a North Carolina family law attorney about
child custody and psychological evaluations. Call 919-841-5680 or
send an email message and learn
how to get started.