Court ordered evaluations and how to pay

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    • #3824

      Has anyone had to deal with a court ordered evaluation during change in custody arrangements have already been set… Ex spouse has supervised visitations and now want full or half physical custody she has no physical means of support so I am dumb founded… BUT …? How does the Evaluator get chosen or how SHOULD they have been chosen. Every name suggested she doesnt like…….. What if one parent cannot afford to pay for the evaluation? Seems it cost around 5,000. This is a HUGE amount of money….$2500 for a single parent to afford… HOW are ppl handling this??? HELP

    • #3828

      In very general terms, you can have a particular judge go in any direction here.

      It is sometimes felt that the person seeking the evaluation should pay, but judges will often order that the cost be split in some fashion. Has the Ex petitioned in forma pauperis (asked to not have to put up court costs)?

      The amounts you are quoting for an evaluation seem high.

      When it comes to shared custody, that is presumed by the courts to be in the best interests of the child. The ability of one parent to pay any support would be considered fairly irrelevant to the best interests mandate.

      However, if the current order is for supervised visitation, then there must have been good reasons for that and the person seeking the change has the burden of showing a change in circumstances to justify the change.

      I have never much liked the trend towards evaluations. Sadly, in too many cases the judges like having the evaluation done because it greatly reduces their workload. Someone else, in effect, is doing the work that would otherwise come out in testimony and evidence at trial. There is also a wide range of competence in evaluation making.

    • #3839
      Old man of the sea

      I ain’t no Lawyer, nor did I even sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night…BUT, I’ll tell you the trends I’m seeing in today’s “Family” Courts.

      I am seeing repeatedly where criminal, totally dysfunctional female parents obtain shared custody without paying a penny, where they recently only had supervised visitation….And SOMEHOW the “best interest of the child” is used to justify the decision.

      Trust me Friend, she has already learned what her odds are, and she indicates it by refusing to select the evaluators you suggested. What will most likely happen is she will eventually locate some ultra liberal pro bono law firm to represent her fully and aggressively where you will be totally out of pocket and most likey lose.

      This is just another brick in the foundation of marriage in America, and based on past and current decisions, it will likely continue to be destroyed one brick at a time.

    • #3854

      I’m a bit more cynical than Lex — having been through the evaluation route myself I couldn’t believe how low 2500 each was. For evaluations, supervised exchanges and a guardian ad litem our expenses came to over 6K each. The judge split it down the middle even though one of us was making 3600+ plus a month and one was on unemployment. In all fairness, it only went to evaluation and then a GAL after one party appealed the original judge’s decision.

      The two parties can figure out how to work it out, or one or both can ensure the kids are the losers. If the two parties aren’t mature enough to figure out how to be parents together, then they won’t be able to figure out how to follow court orders. Again, the kids are the losers.

      Until judges learn to consider the mental health of the parents in decision making, and learn to recognize sociopathic or narcississtic behavior for what it is, using the kids for weapons will remain commonplace.

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