The judge has ordered me to pay for the child custody evaluation fees and for my ex-wife’s fees associated with therapeutic supervision since she cannot be alone with our children during her visitation periods.
Why should I have to pay for a custody evaluation and for my ex-wife’s supervised visitation costs if these are fees brought on by her?
I am unable to give you legal advice on divorce. I can give general divorce help for men, though, my knowledge is based on Indiana child custody laws where I am licensed to practice.
The courts have a great deal of discretion in child custody, parenting time, and child support matters. While there is no way for me to determine why a specific court ruled in a certain way, many courts strive to permit both parents to be involved in a child’s life, if at all possible. Since the mother requires supervision, it may be possible that she could not afford to see the child at all without assistance from you toward the cost of the supervision.
Because the court likely believes that it is in your child’s best interest for her mother to be involved in her life – even if only through supervised parenting time – the court has the discretion to order that you split the fees because it is in the best interest of your child. The court may view this as a benefit you are providing for your child and not necessarily for the child’s mother.
Child custody evaluation fees are often required to be split pro rata between the parties to the case based on percentage shares of income. The court may order the partie to split fees for an evaluation of what would be in the best interests of the child.
The judge’s main consideration is the best interests of the child and likely is ordering that the fees be split because the judge believes it to be in the best interest of your daughter that the evaluation take place or that the supervised parenting time take place.
Custody evaluations are common in custody cases because they typically involve a mental health professional who specializes in the mental health of children. As such, the professional can view the interaction of the child with the parties, the psychological test performance of the parties, letters of recommendation from friends and other professionals, and any other person the evaluator deems necessary.
Again, there is no way to determine exactly why a judge ruled in a specific way for things that are within their discretion.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than divorce tips for men, so please consult with a divorce lawyer in your jurisdiction.