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Psychological Evaluations and Drug Testing

Issues regarding the fitness of parents frequently appear in divorce cases.  Often times one of the spouses will question the competency or moral fitness of the other parent when issues concerning minor children arise.

There is a two-part test that the Court applies when a party is requesting that the other party submit to either a psychological evaluation or a substance abuse evaluation.  First, the issue must be “in controversy”, and second, “good cause” must be shown.

Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 1.360(a) provides for compulsory psychological evaluations or drug testing only when the party submitting the request has “good cause” for the examination.  The party requesting the examination has the burden of proof in showing that both the “in controversy” and “good cause” prongs have been satisfied before the court can order testing.

When you are seeking to impose these types of tests or evaluations upon the other party, general, conclusory allegations in your pleadings do not put the other party’s mental health in controversy nor do they demonstrate good cause.  Specificity in the pleadings which genuinely demonstrate that the condition is at issue and should be considered must be pled.

These types of tests and evaluations necessarily involve intrusion into the other party’s privacy rights. Requests for these types of examinations occur all too frequently in custody and time-sharing disputes. Often times there is no substance behind the request to support them.  An advocate who is well familiar with the law can appropriately defend against the imposition of these types of evaluations, or can aggressively argue for the imposition of these evaluations, if the facts warrant them.  Boca Raton divorce attorney Alan R. Burton, who has over 35 years of experience, is well qualified to deal with these issues.  He can be reached at 954-295-9222. Call him today for a free consultation.