Getting divorced can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. While property division and alimony can present challenges that can be difficult to overcome, Floridians who have children may find that their divorce is even more emotionally trying. After all, the outcome of a child support and/or visitation dispute can shape the relationship an individual will have with his or her child. This is why these parents need to do everything they can to protect what they believe is in their child’s best interests. This will be the standard that the judge handling one’s case will use to base his or her decision.
One way to ensure that an accurate picture of a child’s wishes and each parent’s capabilities is to request an examination of everyone involved. The legal rules in Florida allow for a party to request these examinations to be conducted by an expert. Such an examination may address the physical or mental condition of an individual, as well as any other issue that may be in question with regard to child custody. In order for a parent to be examined, the party seeking the examination must file a motion with the court, provide notice to the party to be examined, and have a hearing on the matter.
The same procedure applies to examinations of children. In these instances, an expert, who may be agreed upon by the parties or appointed by the court, will interview the child and provide testing as needed. Then, once the examination is complete, the expert will send a written report to each party. This must be conducted prior to evidentiary hearing on the matter.
Child custody matters are often hotly contested. When agreements can’t be reached amongst the parties, the matter may end up going to trial. This is where the findings of an expert witness can be crucial. If properly entered into evidence, an expert’s opinion can carry significant weight. This is why requesting, challenging, and utilizing expert examinations must be handled with confidence and competence. A qualified divorce attorney may prove beneficial in these matters.