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September 17, 2015

I’ve Been Asked to Undergo a Psychological Evaluation. What Can I Expect?

by Aubrey Harry Ducker Jr. in Divorce, Family Law

During the divorce process, one of the most important issues to determine is the couple’s child custody or visitation agreement. A child needs to have a relationship with both of his or her parents unless there is an outstanding reason why it would be harmful to the child’s well-being, such as one parent’s criminal history or illegal drug use. Developing an appropriate child custody agreement can be a long, difficult process and involve multiple professionals.

In some cases, the court orders that both parents undergo a psychological evaluation as part of the child custody determination process. Although this is not common in Florida, it is an option when the court feels that it needs an inside look at both parents’ psyches to develop a safe, nurturing custody arrangement. If you are asked to undergo a psychological evaluation as part of your child custody determination process, do not panic or assume that the court or your former spouse is “out to get you.” They are not. The purpose of a psychological evaluation during the child custody determination process is to allow the court to better understand your relationship with your child, your values and beliefs, and your parenting style.

Cooperate with the Evaluator

Your evaluation will be administered by a court-appointed social worker or counselor. Treat this individual with respect and answer all of his or her questions completely. If you refuse to speak with him or her or take other steps to make his or her job difficult, this can work against you in future court interactions. Always cooperate with the court.

Be Honest

Do not attempt to make yourself look better by lying about your lifestyle or beliefs. Let your true self come through during your evaluation and do not be afraid to discuss your fears and anxieties with the evaluator. You are human. You are not perfect. Focus instead on demonstrating your relationship with your child and how it is beneficial to you both.

Never Talk Badly About your Former Spouse

You might be tempted to make your former partner look like a bad parent, but avoid this. Talking badly about your former partner will only reflect poorly on you. Leave any discussion of him or her out of your meeting with the evaluator unless you are asked directly – your psychological evaluation is about you as a parent, not you as a partner.

Consult with a Child Custody Attorney in Winter Park

If you are asked to undergo a psychological evaluation as part of your child custody determination, contact Sperling Ducker in Winter Park at 407-645-3297 to learn more about what to expect during your initial legal consultation with our firm. As you move forward through your divorce, we can provide you with legal advice and representation tailored to your specific needs. Do not wait to make the call – contact our firm today to begin working with Aubrey Harry Ducker Jr.