Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 44
  1. #1

    Default How to Get a Mental Health Professional to Testify in Court

    My question involves a marriage in the state of: TX
    I am heading to divorce from my wife of 5 years, and a custody battle over our 3 year old daughter.

    After unsuccesfully trying couples therapy for her severe depression, the therapist told me on the phone that my wife has mental disorders (BPD, bipolar) unrelated to me that prevent her from escaping her depression, which would greatly adversely impact her parenting ability. I plan to use her mental illness to gain custody when the time is right to move forward with an attorney.

    How does it work to get the therapist to testify to the court about my wife's mental condition? Do I ask the therapist do do a favor and testify? Would the therapist need to be paid? Or would a subpoena simply require the therapist to divulge what she told me? Do HIPPA laws apply?

    The therapist was actually HER therapist paid by her insurance although I was brought in for couples therapy, so I'm wondering how HIPPA restricts what the therapist can tell me or the court.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    RTR/WDE
    Posts
    1,724

    Default Re: How to Get Mental Health Professional to Testify in Court

    If your WIFE's therapist told you these things, you can bet she won't risk her license going to court and admitting to breaching a patient's confidentiality.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    806

    Default Re: How to Get Mental Health Professional to Testify in Court

    Quote Quoting BooRennie
    View Post
    If your WIFE's therapist told you these things, you can bet she won't risk her license going to court and admitting to breaching a patient's confidentiality.
    What if there is a patient information release form in place? I know my wife is able to be given any and all medical information related to me...not so fast.

    OP - your first step would be to simply ask the therapist if he/she would be willing to testify on your behalf. I suspect she will decline as it is a conflict of interest to have your wife's therapist testify on your behalf.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: How to Get Mental Health Professional to Testify in Court

    HIPAA laws very much apply, and unless your wife signed a written authorization for the therapist to release that information to you, the therapist can be in serious trouble for telling you that. Do you know if your wife did so?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: How to Get Mental Health Professional to Testify in Court

    Let's address the other elephant in the room.

    Having a mental illness isn't going to even matter in many cases. The BIG question as of right now, is what's the current schedule? This isn't the first custody-based question OP has asked here...but the details matter.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Quoting PADriver13
    View Post
    What if there is a patient information release form in place? I know my wife is able to be given any and all medical information related to me...not so fast.

    OP - your first step would be to simply ask the therapist if he/she would be willing to testify on your behalf. I suspect she will decline as it is a conflict of interest to have your wife's therapist testify on your behalf.
    Psych records are not the same as other medical records, necessarily. I suspect OP is not going to have a good day today....just a hunch.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How to Get Mental Health Professional to Testify in Court

    How in the world would "patient confidentiality" apply? It was only considered my wife's therapist because she had the better insurance to get the most affordable couples therapy, but we BOTH were at therapy together when the therapist told her what she was doing wrong, then when my wife discounted everything the therapist said and refused to return, it was me who called the therapist (who considered us a joint case for couples counseling) who emphathized with all that I have had to put up with from my wife, and told me her assessment of my wife. End result is we weren't ready for couples therapy since my wife needed to work on her extreme issues first.

    Did you know that very few therapists are willing to tell their patient directly what their mental illness is? Because that risks turning their patients away from them, especially in the case of depression/bipolar/borderline personality disorder (yes we've had several therapists who told me that but not her to her face). In relationships where these mental disorders exist, the partner without the disorder is very much part of the "case" and affected worse than the partner who was diagnosed. Google on "coping with a depressed partner" to see what I mean. It's horrible on everybody especially the child.

    Wouldn't HIPPA go out the window when I am included in the sessions where I am told the problems with my wife right in front of my wife?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,521

    Default Re: How to Get Mental Health Professional to Testify in Court

    If you're going to try to invoke laws that you do not fully understand, you should at least try to abbreviate them correctly. It's not HIPPA; it's HIPAA.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: How to Get Mental Health Professional to Testify in Court

    The therapist's disclosure to you in the context of joint counseling is different from the therapist's disclosure to a court in the context of custody proceedings. I'm skeptical that a treating therapist is going to want to get involved in a custody dispute. You cannot make a therapist testify as an expert (i.e., give opinion evidence), your wife has privacy rights that a court will respect, and if you cap that off with the therapist not wanting to be involved in the litigation you're going to be complicating your case by trying to force that approach.

    What is more common in the context of a custody case is to ask the court to order a neutral psychological examination of the parties, in relation to parenting. The neutral expert can perform or review appropriate tests, interview the parties, potentially interview new partners who are involved with the parties, potentially interview the children, potentially prepare a report for the court, or testify at a hearing. It costs money, of course.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    35,894

    Default Re: How to Get Mental Health Professional to Testify in Court

    Quote Quoting frewer
    View Post
    How in the world would "patient confidentiality" apply? It was only considered my wife's therapist because she had the better insurance to get the most affordable couples therapy, but we BOTH were at therapy together when the therapist told her what she was doing wrong, then when my wife discounted everything the therapist said and refused to return, it was me who called the therapist (who considered us a joint case for couples counseling) who emphathized with all that I have had to put up with from my wife, and told me her assessment of my wife. End result is we weren't ready for couples therapy since my wife needed to work on her extreme issues first.

    Did you know that very few therapists are willing to tell their patient directly what their mental illness is? Because that risks turning their patients away from them, especially in the case of depression/bipolar/borderline personality disorder (yes we've had several therapists who told me that but not her to her face). In relationships where these mental disorders exist, the partner without the disorder is very much part of the "case" and affected worse than the partner who was diagnosed. Google on "coping with a depressed partner" to see what I mean. It's horrible on everybody especially the child.

    Wouldn't HIPPA go out the window when I am included in the sessions where I am told the problems with my wife right in front of my wife?
    Please answer the question. And please rid yourself of the notion that depressed and/or bipolar patients cannot be the custodial parent.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How to Get Mental Health Professional to Testify in Court

    Ok so when we demand a psychological examination of my wife... does that automatically include one of me too? (I can understand if so, but my mental health has never been questioned, while she acknowledges extreme depression)

    Who pays for her examination? Does the responsible party depend on if the evaluation revealed bad mental health on her part?

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 ... LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Legal Malpractice: Harassed by a Mental Health Counselor
    By MeowMama in forum Malpractice Law
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-03-2013, 11:50 AM
  2. Medical Records: HIPAA and Mental Health
    By Astrodude in forum Public Health and Welfare
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-03-2013, 07:16 AM
  3. Establishing an Order: How to Introduce Mental Health Testimony
    By Sleepi in forum Child Custody, Support and Visitation
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 08-22-2012, 10:29 AM
  4. Mental Health: Mental Health Records Access
    By drewzzma in forum Public Health and Welfare
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-27-2008, 07:06 PM
  5. Medical Malpractice: Expungement of a Mental Health Record
    By may in forum Malpractice Law
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-08-2006, 04:03 AM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources