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.
Courts distinguish marital faults from misconduct that indicates an unfit parent. In other words, proof of a horrible spouse does not automatically deem that spouse an unfit parent, and seeking custody doesn’t have to eliminate parenting time. Although no one is legally required to parent perfectly, the court can decide that the dangerously imperfect are unfit.
This was another tough divorce case because the parties hated each other even more so than the average case. Before we were involved in the case there were a number of domestic violence issues, restraining orders and criminal charges. Half way through the case, the father went pro se and thus, had no more legal fees to pay which put our client at a significant disadvantage. The case was headed to trial but within a few weeks of the scheduled trial date, we worked out a settlement where the client got custody of the children, child support and alimony.