On Demand Program

Exploring the Intricacies of Rule 35 Mental Health Examinations in Custodial Disputes


Date Aired: Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Runtime: 1:30h

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This program will explore the nuances of Rule 35 mental health examinations when the mental condition of a party is at issue in a contested custody dispute.

Join us for a lively discussion with our distinguished panel regarding the unique considerations associated with Rule 35 examinations and their attendant issues, including:

  • The tools practitioners must use to effectively request and prepare for an examination;
  • Under what circumstances a request for an examination may be allowed by the court;
  • The process for conducting the examination;
  • The types of mental health issues that are relevant to custody disputes;
  • Tips for attorneys and their clients/case when an examination has been ordered;
  • How to appropriately utilize the examination report; and
  • The weight the court affords to Rule 35 examination reports.

Panelists will offer an in-depth exploration of this topic from multiple perspectives, including from practitioners who are advocating to compel a mental examination of an adverse party, those opposing or seeking to limit the scope of such a request, and a judge, who is required to assess the appropriateness of permitting such an examination in determining the best interests of a child in custody disputes. Participants will also hear from an expert who performs Rule 35 evaluations, including what, if any, additional testing may be recommended by the evaluator to assist practitioners and the court.

This session was hosted using Zoom.


Julianna Zane, Esq., Program Chair
Todd & Weld LLP, Boston
Hon. Jennifer Allen, Panelist
Massachusetts Probate and Family Court-Administrative Office, Boston
Alexander D. Jones, Esq., Panelist
Brick, Jones, McBrien & Hickey LLP, Needham
Katherine Nemens, Esq., Panelist
Family Law Project at Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee, Quincy
Julia M. Reade, M.D., Panelist
Comprehensive Forensic Associates, Chestnut Hill

Sponsoring Sections:

Family Law Section

NOTE: This is a previously recorded MBA On Demand product.
When you register, you will receive a link via email to the previously recorded MBA On Demand program and its ePublication. Your member profile will also contain a permanent link to the MBA On Demand version of the program.

System Requirements
Read the On Demand system requirements and view an On Demand product demonstration. If you have questions regarding On Demand products or how to use the software, contact Senior Programs Manager Marc A. D'Antonio, Esq. at (617) 338-0646 or email Marc.

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