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Child Custody Evaluations

Physical and mental examination of persons

By Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle, Family Law Division Leader

In a proceeding for the custody, partial custody, or visitation of children, the court may order the child or children and/or any party to submit to and fully participate in an evaluation by an appropriate expert or experts. The order, which must be substantially in the form set forth in the Rules of Civil Procedure, may be made upon the court's own motion, upon the motion of a party with reasonable notice to the person to be examined, or by agreement of the parties. The order must specify the place, manner, conditions and scope of the examination and the person or persons by whom it will be made and to whom distributed.

In entering an order directing an evaluation, the court must consider all appropriate factors including the following, if applicable:

(1) the allocation of the costs, including insurance coverage, if any, attendant to the undertaking of the evaluation and preparation of the resultant report and court testimony of any appointed expert;
(2) the execution of appropriate authorizations and/or consents to facilitate the examination;
(3) any deadlines imposed regarding the completion of the examination and payment of costs;
(4) the production of any report and of underlying data to counsel and/or any unrepresented party upon the completion of the examination; and
(5) any additional safeguards that are deemed appropriate as a result of the alleged presence of domestic violence and/or child abuse.

For any type of family law matter, such as custody, partial custody, or visitation, it is crucial to understand your rights and how the process will work. Contact Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC at (717) 268-4287 to discuss your matter. You may contact Attorney Jeffrey Engle directly.

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