Psychological Testing in Child Custody cases in Tulsa is not that uncommon. When children are involved in a divorce or paternity case, it’s paramount to keep their best interests in mind while evaluating your options for child custody. In some cases, the other parent may be suffering from a mental health issue and may not be fit to care for the children causing you to ask for sole custody. In this situation, you have the right to request psychological testing for your ex-spouse in Oklahoma.
Grounds For Psychological Testing in Child Custody
You will have to present valid legal arguments, evidence, and testimonials to show to the court that your request is done in your child’s best interests. In Oklahoma, your child custody lawyer will first request a child custody evaluator. The custody evaluator does a complete work up the parents and the circumstances surrounding custody. There is a full range of things that the evaluator will consider all of which focus on the psychological capacity of the parents relationship with the kids and each other. Oklahoma courts may order psychological testing on the basis of following arguments:
· History of mental illness
· Alcohol or drug dependency
· Child abuse allegations
· Irresponsible parenting behavior
An Overview of a Custody Evaluation
In Oklahoma, the family court can use this evaluation to take a closer look at the parents who are seeking a particular child custody arrangement. The court may make use of a professional custody evaluator in order to make the decision in the child’s best interest. The evaluator could include a group of neutral, third party professionals with at least five years of experience in this area. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers may be a part of this group.
Psychological Tests May Include
· Thematic Apperception Test
· Rorschach Inkblot Test
· Bricklin Perceptual Scales
Selecting the Evaluator(s)
Depending on the situation, you and your former spouse may choose an evaluator on your own, or the family court judge in Oklahoma may assign a particular custody evaluator. Most times the Court has approved evaluators and the attorneys will agree on which one to use. If they cant agree the family Court Judge will decide.
Whether you are selecting an evaluator on your own, or choosing from the multiple options provided to you by the court, you should discuss your choice with your attorney. A knowledgeable attorney might have information about the evaluator’s track record in past cases, or whether they have a reputation for impartial evaluation.
Purpose of The Custody Evaluator
The primary purpose of a custody evaluator is as an expert witness. The party that requested the custody evaluator will use his or her opinion as evidence in a trial for custody. Most times the party asking for the psychological test will pay for it. But, the parties may also split the cost by agreement or order of the Court. Other times both parties may have their own custody evaluators and their opinions could be different. In some cases the evaluator might recommend sole or joint custody depending on the facts. In each case the evaluator is being used as an expert witness at trial.
Contesting the Evaluator’s Findings
Once again the evaluator is simply an expert witness. Like all evidence the Judge will decide on its credibility after hearing all of the evidence. In the case of dueling parent coordinators the court will hear testimony of them both an consider it in the context of all the other facts. The Judge may also look at the qualifications of each evaluator and consider that along with their testimony.
Tulsa Child Custody Attorneys
Psychological Testing in child custody cases in Tulsa is sometimes complicated. Its important that you get off on the right foot with the right custody evaluator. Our child custody attorneys in Tulsa have years of experience with using psychological testing in relation to child custody decisions. Call us at 918-743-2233 today or complete this online form to reach out to us