Your Ex-Spouse Calling You Crazy Will Only Reflect Badly On Your Ex
The testimony of psychiatrists and mental health counselors can be useful in family court cases. If you or your child has sought mental health treatment, the professional opinions of your doctors and counselors hold weight as factors in the court’s decision about parenting time. For example, your child’s school counselor may know better than anyone else that your child does well academically and socially when he takes his ADHD medication, and that moving him to a different county with a different school and different doctors would disrupt his hard-won stability. Judges may also order divorced or divorcing co-parents to undergo psychological counseling to help them raise their children more harmoniously. Case law is unequivocal, though, in stating that parties in family law cases must not use mental health evaluations as a weapon or exploit the social stigma against mental illness to harm their ex-spouse’s relationship with their children. Whether or not you are among the 20 percent of Americans who have been diagnosed with a mental illness, if your ex-spouse argues that your state of mental health makes you an unfit parent, the judge will see through it. You have the right to be a parent to your children, but it is easier and less stressful to exercise that right with the help of a Palm Beach County child custody lawyer.
Father Brings Up Mother’s Alleged Mental Illness Only When It Is Convenient for Him
Richard and Nataliya divorced when their older son was eight years old and their younger son was four; both parents are healthcare professionals. The parenting plan had the parents spend alternating weeks with the children, transferring them to the other parent on Mondays. The relationship between Richard and Nataliya was so adversarial that they rarely interacted with each other directly. Instead, Richard’s wife, the children’s stepmother, would drop the children off at Nataliya’s house, and Nataliya’s mother would meet them at the door.
One Monday, upon arriving at Nataliya’s house, the younger son told his grandmother that his bottom hurt. After giving him a bath, the grandmother examined him and suspected that he had been sexually abused. She called two neighbors, a nurse and a pharmacist, who came to the house and examined the child and then called Child Protective Services to report the alleged abuse. When Nataliya came home from work, she took the child to the emergency room, where she recounted in detail what the child had allegedly told her about being molested by a boy named Jacob. The emergency room doctors determined that the cause of the child’s discomfort and rash was chronic constipation.
Months later, Richard cited this incident as a reason why the court should require Nataliya to undergo a psychological evaluation which would determine whether she could keep her unsupervised parenting time. The court refused; if Richard were so disturbed by Nataliya’s actions, why did he continue to send the children to her for a week at a time, even increasing her parenting time during the week when he traveled out of town for his wedding anniversary?
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A Boca Raton child custody lawyer can help you if things have gotten truly ugly between you and your ex-spouse. Contact Schwartz | White for a consultation.