My Spouse Has Psychological Concerns, Which I Believe are Relevant to a Determination of Child Custody. Can I Obtain Their Psychological Records and Submit it to the Family Court as Evidence?

There are various privileges as to evidence which can be admitted to a court. One of them being the psychotherapist-patient. This prevents communications in a therapist’s office, including the therapist file, from being revealed to anyone other than the client or those who work within the therapist’s office.

Technically speaking as per the Evidence Code, the psychotherapist-patient privilege covers, “confidential communications between patient and psychotherapist.”   Specifically, it includes information obtained by an examination of the patient, that:

  1. Is transmitted in confidence between a patient and the patient’s psychotherapist in the course of that relationship;
  2. Is transmitted by means that, as far as the patient is aware, disclose the information to no third persons other than those who are present to further the patient’s interest in the consultation, or those to whom disclosure is reasonably necessary for transmission of the information or accomplishment...

Can I Move from San Diego with my Children?

Many clients contact me asking how the court orders involved in a custody case impact their right to move out of the county or out of the state, whether it is for a new job, being closer to family, or due to the high cost of living in San Diego.  While a divorce is pending, automatic orders are in place prohibiting a parent from traveling with the children out of the state, let alone moving with them.  Even after a divorce or paternity case is finalized, most orders prohibit a parent from moving the children outside the County of San Diego without a court order or agreement with the other parent.  So how do you go about being able to move?

The move away process is rather complicated in California, and is dependent upon the previous orders in the case.  Obviously, the court will take special consideration in move-away cases since...

Parents Cannot Withhold Visitation Due to Nonpayment of Child Support

I often get calls from clients asking if they can keep their child from seeing the other parent since he or she refuses to pay child support.  In short, the answer is no.  California courts view child support and child custody as two entirely separate issues.  Since they have no relationship to each other, a judge would not be happy to hear that a parent withheld a child from the other parent to force him or her to pay money.  Generally, the courts frown upon self-help techniques such as this.

Instead, it is best to seek court intervention.  If there is no court order for child support, the custodial parent should file a motion to obtain one.  Then, if the other parent is employed, he or she can ask that the other parent's wages be garnished so that support is paid directly by the parent's employer.  If there is already a...

Law Offices of Tess Reutzel