Divorce Independent Medical Evaluation
A Divorce Independent Medical Evaluation is an Independent Medical Evaluation that is executed so that any medical-legal disputes in a divorce case can be settled. In the midst of a divorce, child-support or spousal-support can be granted to the spouse that generates less income. In some cases, the spouse may claim to that their ability to work has been compromised due to a disability. This situation leaves the spouse with a greater need for child-support or spousal-support. When a spouse has been unemployed for a long time, this situation is unfortunately common. A Divorce Independent Medical Evaluation is ordered by the claims administrator to evaluate the spouse’s claim. The claim of disability is evaluated to determine whether it valid or not, and if so, to what degree.
The physician performing the Divorce Independent Medical Evaluation must not have a prior relationship (doctor-patient, or otherwise) to either spouse involved in the case. When the doctor conducts the evaluation, he or she will assess the cause, extent, and medical treatment of all injuries, work-related or not. The physician then must write up medical-legal notes on the conclusions of the evaluation. The notes are then turned into a report that is used in court to help decide what amount of child-support or spousal-support the spouse in question should be granted. The results of the Divorce Independent Medical Evaluation determine the ability of the spouse to enter the work force and earn income so that they require less child-support or spousal-support.
Sometimes, even though a spouse’s claim for disability is completely valid, their ailment does not actually affect their ability to work. For instance, if they claim to suffer from a back injury, which prevents them from having the ability to do any heavy lifting, it does not mean that the back injury also prevents them from having a job where they sit at a desk. This is where a Divorce Independent Medical Evaluation comes in: the evaluation determines if their claim of disability is valid, and if it does, in fact impair their ability to earn income.
Not all claims for disability involve a physical injury. In some cases, a spouse might claim to suffer from psychological distress, such as depression or stress, caused by the divorce so that they can get a larger amount of child-support or spousal-support. A Divorce Independent Medical Evaluation may be ordered in this case to evaluate the psychological state of the spouse claiming disability. Again, the conclusions made by the examiner are written as medical-legal notes and turned into a report to be used in court for the determination of the validity of the claim. In this case as well, the claim could possibly be valid, but the condition of their psyche might not actually affect their ability to be a part of the work force and earn income and thus resulting in a reduced need for child-support or spousal support.