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Should I Use a Psychological Expert in My Illinois Divorce?

Kane County divorce lawyerAlthough it would be nice if all divorces were amicable, that is rarely the case. Even if a couple mutually decides to end their marriage, they may disagree on many of the marital issues that need to be resolved when divorcing. Some typical points of contention include dividing assets or property, determining spousal support, and creating a parenting time schedule. When children are involved, it can be hard for parents to reach common ground, especially for the allocation of parental responsibilities. Child custody disputes during the divorce process can cause both parents and children to feel anxiety and guilt. In some situations, it may be necessary to seek the professional opinions of subject matter experts in addition to a skilled divorce attorney to come to a resolution.   

How Can a Professional Evaluation Help?

When determining which parent will be awarded the majority of the parenting time, the court will consider what is in the best interest of the children when making any decisions. A judge may order one or both parents to undergo a mental health evaluation. This is often the case when one parent is worried that the other parent may pose a risk to their children due to a mental illness, substance abuse problem, or similar psychological issues. The judge then uses the findings to determine whether one parent is better equipped to care for the children. In certain cases, the results can affect parenting time rights. 

A psychologist or a licensed clinical social worker can conduct an evaluation using different personality tests and interviews. He or she then submits recommendations to help the court decide what would be best for the children’s emotional well-being. This third-party evaluation will address the developmental needs of the children and the capacity of each parent to meet those needs. He or she will consider several factors regarding the parents, including: 

  • Each parent’s values related to child-rearing
  • The capacity to meet the children’s future needs
  • The ability to provide a safe and loving home
  • Each parent’s interactions with the children
  • Potential for wrongdoing that could endanger the children 

In addition, a child psychologist may talk to the children to find out their wishes and concerns. He or she can then offer suggestions for creating a parenting time schedule that is appropriate for the children’s physical, psychological, and academic needs. Having a neutral party with whom kids and parents can share their feelings can help alleviate the stress of divorce and ease the transition. 

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

A divorce can be emotionally devastating on everyone involved. In cases that include children, disputes about child custody and parenting time are not uncommon. Working alongside your lawyer, trained professionals, such as mental health experts, may be able to assist with some of the decision-making. At the experienced law firm of Weiler & Lengle P.C., we understand how a divorce can affect the entire family, not just the couple who is splitting up. Our qualified and dedicated St. Charles spousal support attorneys will work with you to ensure your children’s best interests are protected throughout the proceedings. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 630-382-8050.

 

Sources:
http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=8300000&SeqEnd=10000000

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