Mental health has never been a more crucial issue than it is now. The rates of depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions have skyrocketed in recent years. If you or your child’s other parent struggles with a mental health condition, you may have questions about how mental health evaluations are used during Illinois child custody cases.
Mental health evaluations are sometimes used to help the court make an informed decision in a custody dispute. Either parent can request a mental health evaluation of the other parent, or the judge may require a parent to undergo psychological testing. Read on to learn about how and when these types of tests are ordered and how the results can influence child custody matters.
When is Psychological Testing Required?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over one in five people in the United States currently suffers from a mental illness of some kind. Some of the most common mental illnesses include depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, and schizophrenia. Many people with mental health conditions are competent, loving parents. However, there are situations in which a parent’s mental health condition could pose a danger to the child. An Illinois court will only order psychological testing if there is a significant concern about a parent’s mental health or behavior.
What Happens During a Mental Health Evaluation?
During a mental health evaluation, a mental health professional such as a social worker will ask a parent a series of questions or ask them to take written tests. A parent may be asked to take personality tests, intelligence tests, and tests that assess their attitudes toward parenting.
The results of any psychological tests are only one source of information during a child custody case. Information gathered through observations and interviews may also play into a court’s decision. If a guardian ad litem has been assigned to the case, his or her professional opinion will also influence the outcome of the custody dispute.
It should be noted that the parent who requests psychological testing of the other parent is responsible for paying the costs associated with the test, which can be significant. Their parent may also be required to compensate the other parent for and the lost wages caused by the testing. If the court orders psychological testing, the cost may be split between the parents depending on the situation.
Contact Our Chicago Child Custody Lawyer
If you are going through a divorce or child custody case and mental health may be an issue, it is important to work with an attorney who understands how to handle these types of cases and can provide the legal guidance you need. The skilled Cook County family law attorneys at [[title]] can help you understand your options and rights regarding mental health evaluations and child custody issues. We can also represent you during any hearings or custody trials. Call [[phone]] for a free consultation.