What should you expect during a child custody evaluation in San Diego and when will it be ordered by our Family Courts? There are many reasons for child custody evaluations associated with a divorce in San Diego. In some cases, the parties themselves are simply requesting expert outside guidance and ideas on how to carefully craft their own child custody and parenting time plan or “Parenting Plan.”
Usually, there is a dispute between the parties or a genuine concern presented to the Court. Some of the reasons a Judge may order a child custody evaluation include the presence of domestic violence, highly contentious divorces, children with special needs, allegations or parental alienation or a move away/relocation request.
Our Family Courts have the power not only to order a child custody evaluation by an external expert, they have the power to decide how the costs of these services are to be divided between the parties (or assessed to one of the parties). There are specific types of professionals the Court may rely upon based upon the facts of the case at hand. What should you expect during a child custody evaluation in San Diego?
Once the expert has been identified and selected by the Court, that professional should review the process they intend to conduct and the expectations of each party. In almost every case, the children will be interviewed on their own and in the presence of both parents and/or each parent separately. Both parents are separately interviewed. The professional expert may also wish to interview relevant additional parties (other family members, physicians, teachers, counselors, etc.) as part of the analysis.
One of the things you should expect during a child custody evaluation in San Diego is to be ready to provide your own “witnesses” often referred to as “references.” You will want to choose references whose experiences and observations can and will support you style of parenting and the plan you have proposed to the Court. You will obviously want to notify any reference in advance of contact by the professional expert. It is best to be organized and to provide the professional expert with a complete list including their names, phone numbers, email information, street address and even the best time of day and method to reach each reference.
Don’t attempt to manipulate an outcome. These are experienced professional experts who will easily spot any form of deception or false appearances.
The professional expert will present a report to the Court at the end of the evaluation. If either party disagrees with the findings they have the right for their attorneys to pursue and contest testimony from the expert regarding their findings, approach or even their qualifications to serve as an expert in your case. You may also choose to seek testimony from your own professional expert.
While this provides of a bit of insight into what to expect during a child custody evaluation in San Diego it is important for you to have the experienced, legally skilled representation of the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.