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Will Seeing a Psychologist or Psychiatrist Have a Negative Effect on My Child Custody Case?

The fact that you have chosen to seek the help of a psychologist or psychiatrist during your child custody proceedings does not, in and of itself, negatively impact your case.  Most parents experience a great deal of stress when they are embroiled in legal proceedings, and particularly in cases involving child custody, which obviously are of great importance.  Unfortunately, a stigma still exists in the United States when it comes to mental health, and parents often fear that seeking professional help will make them appear weak or unstable.  In reality, it is actually a positive sign, in most cases, that a parent is seeking out a psychologist or psychiatrist to help him or her handle the stress of the proceedings.

The fact that you are seeking counseling or therapy is confidential under federal and state law.  However, even if your child’s other parent knows that you are seeing a therapist, there is no automatic black mark against you.  In fact, seeking help is a sign of responsibility and maturity, rather than remaining undiagnosed or untreated.

Yet one way that your mental health can come into play in a child custody proceeding is if the court orders you to undergo a mental health or psychological evaluation.  This usually only occurs if there is a serious allegation of mental illness against one or both parents.  The court may decide that it wants to hear from professionals regarding each parent’s mental health status.

Contact us or call today to learn how Shaw Law can work with you to achieve the best outcome possible for you and your children.

Scott Shaw is founder and principle of Shaw Law Firm LLC, founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to divorce, family law and child custody matters that must be addressed and decided in the state of Georgia. Shaw Law Firm serves the greater Metro Atlanta area, particularly the counties of Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee, Forsyth, Paulding, Henry, Fayette, Coweta, Newton, Walton, Bartow and Douglas. Schedule a consultation today at 770-594-8309.