Legal help? Can a lawyer supena all of your psychiatric records?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I thought they were private. This is a scary thought. My son was told not to see his psychiatrist by his lawyer so that "You don't open up a can of worms." He was going to get a letter saying he was fine to raise his child. My son was the hospital first when he was thirteen for a week after his dad and I divorced. How far back can you go?

    I am flabbergasted at what a custody battle entails. 35 isn't perfect, but aren't his records protected? Aren't ALL our records protected? Do our YOUNG kids have no protection either? They can get married and somebody can subpena their records....for how far back? And does his ex get to read his files too?

    That would make it literally dangerous to go for help. He was told not to see his psychiatrist today? He needs help because of his stress and wants medications. But lawyer said he shouldn't bring up the custody battle and 35 didn't know so he already told his psychiatric. that he needed a letter saying he could raise a child, but his lawyer told him not to get one.This is an excellent lawyer too. And does this mean HE can supbena her records? She refused to take her epilepsy medications and had a serious seizure a few years ago. Is this how ugly ilt gets in a custody battle? So all of our kids with issues can lose custody in court because an ex wife can supbena every medical and psychiatric record her ex husband has ever had? And vice versa?

    Honestly, if this were me, I don't think I'd be able to fight this fight. I'd probably let it go and figure that the kid would see the light when he got older. I couldn't do this. I'm going to give myself a few days off from hearing about this because the legal system never fails to shock me and this whole issue is stressing me out...and it's not MY custody battle. THere is nothing I can do to help 35. Nothing. His records will doom him...he has been prescribed large doses of Xanax for years and I believe is diagnosed with anxiety disorder, but who knows what else? Ex is just as unstable, but she doesn't believe in psychiatrists and medications so she has no records,a lthough she was told to take Lexapro once, but she never used the script.

    Our psychiatric records and those of our k ids are on display if the court pleases?
  2. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    OK... Pretty much anything is fair game BUT - whatever was talked about in the psychiatric setting is off limits, protected, with a few exceptions:
    1. If the psychiatric evaluation was court-ordered during the divorce and custody proceedings.
    2. If there was an immediate danger to someone and it was reported to the authorities.

    That he visited a psychiatrist? Fair game. The content of the visit? Not so much.

    She can bring up that he is on large doses of Xanax (I am assuming she knows this). He then will probably have to explain why. She has to PROVE that his anxiety disorder and Xanax Rx interferes with parenting - he has to prove nothing.

    The fact that she doesn't believe in psychiatrists, and he does, can be used... He sought HELP while she refused to do so. He can DEMAND a psychiatric evaluation - and that is admissible.

    Men lose their children for many reasons - and a lot of them circle back to the fact that they fight and fight and fight and finally just give up and walk away.

    If he loves J, he needs to at least try. And not everything is admissible... Records from when he was a teen won't be. Unless he had something huge happen. records from before the marriage probably won't be either.

    Though... No, nothing is sacred.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    yes- they can also order a MH evaluation when contemplating custody issues
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    He won't walk away. I said I would. I would not fight this battle, even for my child. I couldn't do it. First of all, it costs lots of money. He doesn't have endless money. She may. We snooped around and it seems her rich grandfather is no longer listed with the grandmother. That could mean that her mother got a windfall and is helping her out. 35's Dad plain and simple is not going to put out $50K for this.

    I think BOTH of them are unstable, but not enough to deny parental rights. Grandson is very attached. But it just shocks me more and more, what can and can't be used.

    35 listens to nobody, but this is making him a total basketcase. There is actually a trial date set, in late November of this year. He will have to live with this over his head until then and he does not do well with this degree of stress. I have hinted to him that maybe he should let her have majority physical custody (in my heart I feel she'll get it anyway since she is the woman and he does have a mental health record). I told him that, in the e nd when J. is older, he will probably demand more time. After all, his mom ran off with this boyfriend whom he dislikes. Also, son can find someone else (he is trying) and maybe have a family with a nicer woman. Not that you want to give up on your child, but I don't see how he can win here. Her resources can far outstay his and his psychiatric records could be twisted badly. And to be 100% honest, I have no idea myself if my son abuses alcohol. If he does, he is a functional alcoholic, and since I don't drink I tend to think everyone is an alcoholic. And ex drinks too.

    35 won't even let me mention other possibilities beyond fighting to the end. He really loves J. But I don't see any good coming of his continuing fight. If it goes on and on, he'll run out of money.

    I just think the cards are stacked against him. And, frankly, in a selfish way, I am weary of this fight. I'm tired of hearing his angst. Even three days off, which I give myself, tires me out. I really don't want to hear a play-by-play over a grandson I barely know, partly due to 35. If I was really, really close to Grandson, that would be one thing, but ex and 35 kept this child away from me. 35 did exactly what his ex wanted during their entire marriage and she didn't like me for an insane reason, which is a story I'll tell at a later date. I'm sure all of you will be rolling your eyes collectively. She was rude, actually, to ANYONE on 35s side of the family and he allowed it so we don't really know the grandchild.

    At any rate, I'm still hoping that our kids who go for help can not pay for that help when they get married and if they go through a divorce. Anything, even a learning disability can be twisted into incompetence to raise a child. I never thought I'd believe this was possible, but now....I see and believe.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Step brought up some good points and they don't necessarily deny custody for a MH diagnosis- actually, I don't think they normally do if the person is getting help for it. He's better off that he has been getting help and already has a diagnosis. They ordered me to get a MH evaluation when my son was in trouble and wanted to just do an MMPI alone- which I refused- but did let them evaluation me by interview assessment. He said I had anxiety and stress. LOL! My nerves were shot all the way thru it. I think the GAL only requested it be ordered to get back at me and because extended family convinced her that my son had no MH issue, it was just me and she didn't like me taking him to tdocs and a psychiatrist.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks for sharing klmo. He knows they can order a MH evaluation. He just didn't know they could look at his records. I'm sure they don't always look at it favorably at getting mental health services if ex has never seen a shrink. They don't know she's crazy and needs one.

    I wonder how far back they can look at your records.

    Klmo, your family sounds like mine...may I say vile?
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    At a previous admin hearing, I did bring up the point that my half-bro had as many, if not more, probability of having MH issues than me, and I brought out the reasons, but that he'd never once gone to a therapist, while I had as a young adult and off and on since then. That point carries weight if you have attnys and a judge who don't look down upon MH issues.
  8. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    My lawyer said to start a diary to get emotions out but to put on the top of it "to mr. Lawyer" then the court can't get it. He also said that it would look better for me to go to a therapist because it shows that you admit your problems and are working on them.
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    35 can equally demand that she have a mental health evaluation as well, and if she refuses can request that the court order it before deciding anything. Considering her behavior in front of the pre-school teachers (and I hope he subpoenas them as witnesses on his side) I would think the court would want her to have one, too.