If a previous custody resolution process like an assessment or mediation yields no solution, the court may order a full child custody evaluation at the parents’ expense. Parents may agree to a single evaluator or each retain their own separately, and the court may also order a neutral evaluator.
Its rare that siblings seeks visitation. I think it is more common that a sibling will seek custody instead. However, N.J.S.A. 9:2-7.1 grants siblings visitation only in the event of a disruption to the family unit by death, separation or divorce. This is the same statute that set forth grand parents rights to visitation which was later modified by the Moriarty case. However, unlike grand parents rights which has been extensively litigated, there are no reported cases on sibling visitation. While there is an argument that the same burden that applies to grand parents also applies to siblings, I would argue otherwise. This firm has been involved in several cases where this has been an issue although we were not directly representing the siblings and the courts have liberally granted visitation.