In Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma, a parent’s mental health is one relevant factor for a court to consider when considering what is in the best interests of the child to determine custody. A diagnosis of mental illness or personality of one parent does not automatically make that parent unfit to have custody or to be an active part in the lives of their children. However, in some cases, a court could find that this is a significant factor when it places the emotional or physical health of a child in danger.
Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma Courts agree that physical and mental health of the parents to a custody case is put at issue. For this reason, a judge may order the parties to sign releases for their mental health records or undergo a psychological or custody evaluation. This can cause parties who are part of a child custody proceeding significant concern.
The Relevance of Mental Health Records and Reports in Child Custody Matters
In most cases, the results of psychological and custody evaluations are admitted in court once they are undertaken. In many cases, the psychologist or psychiatrist who performed the examination may also come into court and testify.
Additionally, the mental health records of the parties are also often released and admitted in court when allegations of mental health are sufficiently pled by a party. These mental health records can ultimately be used by a family court judge to render a custody determination.
It is critical that you have experienced counsel at your side if you believe that the other parent to your children has a mental health condition that affects the best of the children.
At the same time, if you are the subject of the allegations and believe the allegations are not founded, you need counsel in your corner as well to ensure that your privacy interests are protected.
To gain more information on this topic, you can also read the article titled: Common Mental Health Conditions Affecting Custody and Asset Division.
Child Custody Lawyers in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma
If you are a parent in the midst of child custody litigation, and the issue of mental health is involved, contact us online or call us at 1-855-805-0595. We have locations in St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia, Springfield, Wichita, Tulsa and beyond in the Midwest.