About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Possible Questions to Adult Psychiatrists


Do you consider X to be suffering from any psychological or psychiatric condition?

Does X have – whether in his / her history or presentation – a mental illness / disorder (including substance abuse) or other psychological or emotional difficulty and, if so, what is the diagnosis? (FJC)

If the answer to the above is yes, are there any features of either the mental illness or psychological / emotional difficulty or personality disorder which could be associated with risk to others, based on the available evidence base (whether published studies or evidence from clinical experience)? (FJC)

What are the experiences / antecedents / aetiology which would explain his / her difficulties, if any (taking into account any available evidence base or other clinical experience)? (FJC)

Specifically is X suffering from or has X suffered in the past from [eg depression or post natal depression]? If so please set out any relevant history giving detail of past and present treatment.

If you consider X to be suffering from any psychological or psychiatric condition can you comment on the impact of this on X's parenting abilities either currently or in the past?

How do any / all of the above (and their current treatment if applicable) affect his / her functioning, including interpersonal relationships? (FJC)

If you consider X to be suffering from any psychological or psychiatric condition can you indicate what treatment, therapy or support might be indicated? What is the likely duration of such treatment?

What is the capacity of X to participate in / partake of the treatment / therapy? (FJC)

Can you provide any information about local resources from which treatment could be sought?

If possible please advise as to the prognosis for recovery or relapse and what effect relapse would have on X's ability to parent.

Are you able to indicate the prognosis for, timescales for achieving and likely durability of, change? (FJC)

What other factors might indicate positive change? (FJC)

(FJC means taken from the Family Justice Council's draft questions)

Click for a full draft letter of instruction in word.

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