During a divorce, one or both spouses may seek counseling or therapy. Due to the universal Doctor-Patient Confidentiality Agreement, patients are reassured that the sessions are private. However, it is possible your therapy records could end up in the courtroom during your divorce proceeding. When this occurs, it is important to hire a family law attorney to protect your rights.
Typically, if you are attending therapy or seeking the help of a professional counselor, you may have overwhelming issues that affect you psychologically and hinder your daily activities. Discussing them with an unbiased individual can be comforting and allow you to process your emotions. Problems may involve alcohol/drug addiction, a tragic event, or mental health issues. Within a divorce proceeding, these issues may negatively affect spousal support, and/or the allocation of parental responsibilities.
Relevance to Divorce Issues
The request to release your medical records related to therapy solely depends on the relevance to the issue(s) within your divorce. The request cannot be used simply because your former spouse is nosy or wishes to humiliate you. In the event that the allocation of parental responsibilities is an issue and you have expressed that you are unfit to raise your child, then your therapy records may be relevant to your case. Additionally, past and present medical records may make an appearance.
Restricting Access to Your Records
It is your right–an incredibly important right–to hire a lawyer if you believe your therapy records may be part of your divorce case. Your lawyer will work tirelessly to protect your privacy and provide representation on your behalf both in and out of the courtroom. If your therapy records are not relevant to your divorce, your lawyer may obtain a protection order to restrict access to your records as a whole, or certain aspects you wish to keep private.
A Possible Subpoena
Unfortunately, your other spouse may subpoena your therapy record protection order if he or she believes the contents are relevant to your case. Due to the private nature of your records, permission is absolutely mandatory, and it must be granted by the courts. Without court acceptance of the subpoena, your healthcare professional or therapist should continue to keep your records private.
Contact a DuPage County Divorce Lawyer
If your therapy records are on the brink of being exposed during your divorce, do not panic, and contact a knowledgeable Wheaton family law attorney immediately. The legal team at A. Traub and Associates will do whatever it takes to protect you and your divorce proceedings. We can assist you with important legal aspects during this difficult time in your life. Call our office today at 630-426-0196 to schedule a confidential consultation.