If a physician has determined that a person’s mental health history does not affect their ability to parent, should that person have to release their health records? That is the question posed in a recent child custody case in which a mother sought full custody of her children. Her husband, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, was reluctant to offer up his full private details. A recent news article shares more details about the unusual custody case that readers in Wyoming may find interesting.
The couple had been divorced for several years, but recently the ex-wife requested full custody based on her ex-husband’s mental health status. Although her ex-husband was able to produce a document from his mental health provider stating that his diagnosis did not affect his ability to parent, and that he posed no danger to the children, the woman still requested that his full mental health records be admitted for the custody case. A judge agreed with the woman, but the man refused to offer his health records, citing privacy concerns.
Eventually, the child custody arrangement was set as shared custody, but the judge gave the ex-wife final decision-making status. The judge ruled that while the refusal to give health records did not disqualify the man from getting shared custody, it was a factor in determining final decision-making status. The man, a military vet, receives full disability as a result of trauma experienced during the Iraq war.
The case raises questions about privacy concerns versus the best interests of children after a divorce. Persons in Wyoming facing a similar situation may wish to seek the services of an experienced family law attorney. A family law attorney can help build the child custody case to fight for the client’s parental rights in pursuit of the best interests of any children involved.
Source: 12news.com, “Can military vet’s PTSD records be used against him in child custody dispute?”, Joe Dana, July 25, 2017