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Divorce and Mental Health Issues, Records: Relevance, Strategy, Confidentiality, Discoverability, and Admissibility

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will assist family law attorneys with correctly addressing and handling the confidentiality, discoverability, and admissibility of mental health issues and mental health records in divorce cases. The panel will discuss how these issues affect dissolution, financial arrangements, property division, and custody, as well as obtaining (or limiting production of) pertinent records.


Mental health issues can be a complicating factor in divorce cases and may arise in connection with many different issues. Knowing when such issues are relevant and what records are admissible is crucial.

If a party makes his or her own mental health or treatment an issue in the case, for example by asserting that it impacts the ability to work full-time, affects earning capacity, or the need for alimony (“maintenance”) (or on the inability to pay alimony), then information and records about the condition at issue are relevant and discoverable. However, not everything in the records will be fair game and conversely, some information may simply not be privileged to begin with.

Other times, mental health issues can be injected into the case as a matter of law, such as with child custody, or if there are concerns about a party's competency.

Counsel must be prepared to deal with a party who attempts to use the other spouse's recent or past mental health history to leverage settlement or create litigation advantage.

In some cases, the mental health records of children may be sought, and states take various approaches regarding when such records are privileged, who owns the privilege, and how it may be waived.

Listen as this experienced panel guides lawyers in confidently and thoughtfully handling mental health issues and related records in divorce cases.



  1. Mental health issues relevant to divorce and property settlement
  2. Discovery and admissibility of mental health records in family law
  3. Strategies for admitting mental health evidence
  4. Strategies for limiting mental health evidence


The panel will address these and other key issues:

  • What is a party's legal obligation to divulge mental health records in divorce?
  • How far back are a parent's past mental health records relevant to child custody?
  • What are the roles of mental health professionals and psychological evaluations in divorce cases?
  • Can untreated conditions be an issue in divorce--such as depression or anxiety--even if no professional has been consulted?
  • What is the proper way to subpoena?


Goldstein, Seth L.
Seth L. Goldstein

Law Offices of Seth L. Goldstein

Mr. Goldstein created a resource and referral program dedicated to helping litigants in child abuse cases. He...  |  Read More

Sellett, Kyle
Kyle Sellett

Weiss-Kunz & Oliver

Mr. Sellett is a Partner of Weiss-Kunz & Oliver, LLC, and brings to the firm his experience in a wide variety of...  |  Read More

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Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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