A Template for Examination and Cross of an Assessment of Psychological Functioning in Family Court

  • October 03, 2021
  • Dr. Raymond M. Morris, Ph.D., C.Psych., Acc. Fm., psychologist

There are many forms of assessment related to psychological functioning applicable to diverse needs. There are general assessments of intelligence, aptitude, and interest, and others specific to education, location/career, and application for a position or advancement in many areas of endeavour just to name a few. However, in this case, we are particularly interested in referrals for an assessment of psychological functioning in relation to matrimonial disputes.

Such an assessment will have a specific focus on the evaluation of mental health and/or personality and social adjustment of the individual as it might impact communication/co-parenting, decision-making, and parenting time.

It is important to note that an assessment of psychological functioning is not equivalent to a custody and access assessment pursuant to section 30 of the Children’s Law Reform Act, or section 112 of the Courts of Justice Act, nor equivalent to a parenting capacity assessment. It is rather one important component of the above forms of evaluation. Therefore, any opinion or recommendations related to mental health and/or personality and social adjustment that addresses the more major or larger issues of decision-making and parenting time, by virtue of its specific focus, would violate guidelines for the standards of practice for psychologists, and thus be professionally inappropriate.