Can I have the medical records brought up in family court to get custody? 34 Answers as of May 24, 2013

My ex wife has the custody for our two children right now. She is bipolar and keeps having to change her medications. She is having issues with the kids and it is very clear that she cannot handle them.

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
There is a method of getting medical records introduced, so yes, they can be introduced in court if your lawyer does it correctly. How much value they have will be up to the Judge an the circumstances. Being Bi-Polar alone is not enough.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/29/2012
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook
The Law Office of Cathy R. Cook | Cathy R. Cook
Yes, the physical and mental health of all parties are relevant in custody decisions. You can ask for and obtain her mental health records.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 8/23/2012
Steven Alpers | Steven Alpers
The medical diagnosis may be relevant, but what is really important is the problems she is having with the kids.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/23/2012
Lombardi Law LLC
In Alaska a court may find that your wife's medical records are relevant to a custody decision. They are normally protected so it would be a good idea to contact an attorney to help you get the records disclosed to the court.
Answer Applies to: Alaska
Replied: 8/23/2012
John Russo | John Russo
Who is it very clear to? You can raise legitimate mental health issues that can show that she is a danger to the children, but it has to be more then what you believe. Half the country is bipolar and the other half is crazy. You cannot just go into court with allegations, that may be enough to have the court order certain things but in the end not only will you need the medical records you will also need the actual person who wrote them, why? because she and/or her attorney can't cross a piece of paper. Having a mental issue is not in and of itself enough to remove children, most people can be diagnosed with some type issue, so like I said she has to be a danger or proven incapable of caring for the children before the court would consider changing placement.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/23/2012
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    Psychotherapeutic records are privileged and you cannot get those records. However, if for example a guardian ad litem were involved in the case, they could request that the other party sign a release for those records.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Yes you can try and get them into the record. You will have to show what she is doing that reflects her inability to take care of the children. Being bipolar and on meds by itself is not the issue. The issue is does she get them to school on time, are their grades slipping, are they unsupervised when they should be supervising them, is she abusive or neglectful?
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    Being bipolar by itself does not justify a change in custody if your ex is getting the proper medical help to deal with this affliction. More information is needed to better understand what problems your ex is having caring for the children to determine the proper remedy.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith
    The Law Office of Eric J Smith | Eric Smith
    Medical records may be relevant in your case, but the records alone will not be enough. A medical professional would be required to testify as to your ex wife's medical state and its effect on her children and her ability to care for them. You and other non-medical witnesses can testify to what you have seen, but you cannot interpret medical records, nor can a judge or jury. The judge can order, if you request one and the request is granted, a psychological evaluation and that professional would review your ex wife's treatment and provide the court with a report. All that said, it may be more direct and less expensive, if your ex has had obvious difficulties with the kids, to simply line up eye witnesses and other evidence to the failings and not focus on the cause.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    The medical records will be important in a custody fight. Please, get a lawyer to help you.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    LEATHERS LAW FIRM | A. Wade Leathers, Sr.
    Yes. You would have to subpoena the records and comply with the HIPPA law to enter them into evidence.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    First, a parent's psychological condition is relevant to the issue of custody if it affects the care of the children. You must show that there is some correlation. Second, depending on the nature of the hearing, different rues of evidence apply. In an evidentiary hearing, medical records can be introduced, but you must authenticate them by calling a person from the medical center where the records are kept testifying to their authenticity.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    If her medical condition affects proper parenting that can be relevant to custody.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    Medical records are relevant and can be used in a custody dispute/suit.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 5/24/2013
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    If a proper foundation is made, the medical records could be brought into court. It may take the testimony of her doctor as the written records by thenselves would be hearsay.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    T.K. Byrne | Timothy K. Byrne
    If you can show her bipolar conditions has an adverse effect on her ability to care for the children her medical history would be a relevant fact.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    You can offer the medical records as evidence of her mental condition, but you must be prepared to prove that her mental condition makes her unfit to have custody of your children. If she is taking her medication and her doctor says doing so makes her function normally, then you will not have proved she is unfit to care for the children. Lots of parents who are not bipolar have trouble handling children. If you cannot prove that her condition makes her unfit, then be prepared for the judge to exclude the medical records as evidence.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Barbara Fontaine, Esquire | Barbara Fontaine
    Most likely you can. She would be better off if you were custodial parent and she had visitation. You may need to seek legal advice as to how to obtain the records. Perhaps you can just ask for them in the discovery phase of your process.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Medical records may be introduced in this case in a proper manner consistent with the Ohio Rules of Evidence. You need a lawyer to do this properly. Please do not try this your self. It would be akin to do-it-yourself brain surgery.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 8/23/2012
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins
    The Law Offices of Dave Hawkins | Dave Hawkins
    Sure if you follow all of the evidentiary procedures to get them admitted into evidence.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/23/2012
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