What does the court learn from a psychological evaluation?

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in child custody on Thursday, September 29, 2016.

In determining the best interests of your child during a custody battle in Missouri, the judge may decide that a psychological evaluation is necessary. According to the American Psychological Association, there are certain goals that the psychologist should attempt to accomplish during this meeting with your child.

You and your former spouse may have very different parenting styles, and the psychologist will evaluate how these specifically affect your child’s needs. This is not meant to be a general assessment of you and the other parent. Instead, it is a practical evaluation of your behaviors and attitudes toward parenting as they are applied to the way you take care of your child. The psychologist is trying to identify if one of you is a better fit for custodial parent, or if you are both suited to co-parent.

The psychologist knows that you have your child’s best interests at heart, so he or she will consider the concerns that you and the other parent may have. When discussing these, it is beneficial to you to try to put aside the conflicts you have with your former spouse, and approach the issues in a calm, rational manner. To facilitate this, the psychologist will probably provide some ground rules that you should take to heart so that the meeting goes as smoothly as possible. If you use the time to complain about your ex-spouse’s behavior toward yourself, rather than only addressing the needs of your child, it will not be helpful for the evaluation.

This information is provided to help you understand the court’s goal in ordering a psychological evaluation during the custody process, but it is general in nature, and should not be considered legal advice.

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