Child custody case leads to allegations against psychologist

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When two parents in Texas struggle to make parenting decisions regarding their child, they often turn to professionals to help facilitate less stressful interactions between the parents. These professionals may include lawyers and also mental health workers. While psychologists, for example, should remain impartial, one out-of-state woman claims that such was not the case during her child custody struggle with the father of her child.

The woman, a former model, and the father of her 11-year-old daughter have been embroiled in a custody battle for several years. Last year, the mother’s contact with the child was severed, allegedly because the mother sniffed inhalants. Although there has been a gag order issued in the case, court records indicate that the mother has recently filed papers with the court claiming that a psychologist hired to serve as a coordinator between the parents actually conspired with the child’s father against her.

The woman says that the psychologist was hired at the suggestion of the child’s father. However, she claims that she was unaware that the psychologist was actually the father’s therapist. Instead of serving as coordinator, she accuses the doctor of abusing his power, alleging that he set up strict rules that she was expected to follow in order to keep him from making accusations of child abuse. Rules supposedly included whether or not the woman was allowed to bed share and the number of books she could read to the girl at night.

Parenting is difficult under the best of circumstances. It can be especially complicated for parents in Texas who are no longer in a romantic relationship, prompting them to seek the help of professionals to guide them through the decision-making process in child custody cases. While it is likely that each parent has an attorney, some chose to work collaboratively with professionals they consider impartial. Unfortunately, the perception that a collaborator did not act impartially as intended could prompt additional court action.

Source: New York Post, “Mom convinced shrink ‘conspired’ with baby daddy in custody battle“, Kathianne Boniello, Dec. 18, 2016

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