TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Jeffrey Levy & Amy Amundsen on May 1, 2016

Journal Issue Date: May 2016

Journal Name: May 2016 - Vol. 52, No. 5

In the ongoing efforts to protect the children of a divorce, much conflict has arisen in the law regarding the handling of parents’ mental health records in their litigation.  Among lawyers and mental health professionals, two strong camps of thought exist on the topic:  The first is that the counseling and mental health records of a parent are sacrosanct and should be protected and held confidential at all costs, and the second is that the confidentiality of those records should be set aside when litigating the best interest of a child.

In these pages we hope to enlighten the reader on the pros and cons of both positions as we walk you through the years of case history on the topic, including the currently applicable case law that is encompassed in the cases known as Culbertson I and Culbertson II, in which a parent’s right to privacy is balanced against the court’s need to do that which is best by children.  

Any lawyer handling family law cases should stop and take the time to read both the point and counter-point articles here, along with the cases of Culbertson I and Culbertson II themselves.

A State of Confusion
and a Need for Clarity

The Fallout from Culbertson I and II
By Amy J. Amundsen

Culbertson – The Court of Appeals
Got It Right

By Jeffrey L. Levy