Submitting to a Custody Proceeding Does not Place a Parent’s Mental Condition at Issue.

A parent does not waive a right to the doctor-patient privilege or the psychotherapist-patient privilege simply by requesting visitation.

During the divorce proceedings, the parents could not reach a visitation agreement. The mother of the minor children sought the medical records and the psychotherapist’s records on the basis that the father had attempted suicide and had a nervous breakdown during the divorce proceedings. The father challenged the request stating that his records were privileged.

The trial court ordered that the records be delivered to the court in a sealed envelope to be reviewed by the judge. The father filed a petition with the appellate court seeking review.

The First District Court of Appeal held that a parties records can only be disclosed when that party puts his or her mental condition “at issue” in a case. By submitting to a custody proceeding, a parent does not put his or her mental condition at issue. Rather, the code requires frequent and continuing contact with both parents. It is upon the party
challenging custody to prove that visitation is detrimental to the minor child.

If you need a divorce attorney in the Orange County area to address custody in the dissolution of a marriage or any other divorce matter such as legal separation, annulment, child support, spousal support and/or property division, contact our law office located in Laguna Hills at (949) 643-5662. Conveniently located off of the 5 and 405 freeway at Lake Forest.

Treviño Law, Inc.
23151 Moulton Parkway
Laguna Hills, California
Phone (949) 643-5662
Visit us at

Please note that the posting of this information does not constitute legal advice for a divorce in Orange County. Facts and circumstances of the dissolution proceedings may alter the required action and analysis in any given family law case.
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