Family Law is an area of law that involves all the legal issues that families may come in contact with. A Family Law IME is an independent medical evaluation that takes place to settle a legal dispute involving family law. Some situations where a Family Law IME may be required are cases that involve spousal support or child support, paternity and maternity, child neglect, or protection from abuse. An independent medical evaluation is a medical assessment performed by a neutral practitioner who provides an unbiased opinion of the medical condition of the individual being examined.
A Family Law IME should be performed in cases that involve spousal support or child support to ensure that a fair amount of money is granted to the spouse filing for support. When one spouse claims to have a medical disability that inhibits his or her ability to work, they would need a higher amount of spousal support or child support from the other spouse. The spouse claiming to have a medical disability is required to have a Family Law IME performed to determine the validity of their claim. After the medical assessment has taken place, the physician writes up the conclusions in a medical-legal report that is used in court to settle the dispute.
Paternity testing uses genetic fingerprinting to establish whether or not a man is the biological father of a child. When there is a question of paternity in a legal case, a Family Law IME (independent medical examiner) will perform a paternity test. The Family Law IME is a neutral third-party medical professional who collects and identifies all specimens. The Family Law IME then prepares a report that includes the test results and is submitted to the court. Although it is a much less common situation, there are some circumstances where maternity testing is necessary. Maternity testing determines whether or not a woman is the biological mother of a child. This type of Family Law IME is needed when an adopted child tries to reconnect with his or her biological mother or in the case of a potential hospital mix-up.
Child neglect is failure of a child’s caregiver to provide needed, age-appropriate care and includes physical neglect, educational neglect, medical neglect, and emotional or psychological neglect. A Family Law IME is an examination that determines the extent of neglect and if medical treatment is needed. The Family Law IME provides medical consultation to the courts and guidance for the treating physician.
The physical, sexual, or emotional maltreatment of a child is known as child abuse. When a person reports that child abuse is taking place, Child Protective Services conducts an investigation to gather evidence to prove or disprove the report. Sometimes involved in the investigation is a Family Law IME (independent medical evaluation), where the child is examined by a neutral physician to determine the presence and extent of abuse. The physician performs physical assessment as well as a psychological interview and performs any tests that he or she sees fit.