Mental Health Court Evaluations
There are many reasons the court may order a mental health (MH) evaluation. It’s common during divorce and child custody hearings for the judge to order one or both parents to undergo an evaluation. The judge then uses the findings to determine whether one parent is better equipped to care for the children. The findings could even affect a parent’s visitation rights.
Another situation in which a MH court evaluation may be ordered is during a murder trial to determine whether ‘insanity’ is a viable plea. In such cases, the assessment is used to determine whether the defendant is able to withstand trial.
Finally, the court may order a MH assessment if you want to represent yourself, rather than hiring an attorney. The judge must rule out mental incompetency before allowing you to take such a risk.
Occasionally, psychological assessments are also ordered in animal hoarding cases.
The Types of MH Court Evaluations We Don’t Conduct
Associated Behavior Health does not conduct MH Court Evaluations for individuals with charges relating to child custody or parenting plans, competency, legal residency, sexual assault, or those with forensic requirements. As a result, we review your court documents before we accept you as a client. This ensures the evaluation we provide is one which we can assist you with.
The Evaluation Process
After we’ve assessed the details of your case, Associated Behavioral Health’s clinical psychologists perform comprehensive mental health (MH) evaluations for court related cases. We complete the MH court assessment in stages. It usually takes 4 to 6 weeks to complete a full evaluation.
Our MH assessment process includes the following:
- An administrative appointment with our front desk staff to complete all the appropriate forms (such as releases of information), to collect base fees and to conduct psychological testing. Appointment is approximately 2 to 3 hours.
- The psychologist’s review of the court order, the police report, and your psychological testing results.
- The psychologist’s contact with attorneys and collateral informants, such as your family or other clinicians.
- A one-hour interview with the clinical psychologist (PhD).
- A report written by the psychologist you met with.
The base cost of the evaluation by a clinical psychologist is $1,500. Payment in full is required before we can complete and release your evaluation. Should your case require a psychiatrist (MD) to perform the evaluation, we charge an additional $500 fee.
Other service fees may apply. For example if you request a chemical dependency assessment, we charge a separate $150 fee above the base cost.
For additional questions and/or to request a Mental Health Court Evaluation please call (425) 646-7279 and ask to speak with our Administrative Manager.