Evaluation of Child’s Best Interest

  • (a) In a proceeding for custody, visitation, or removal of a child from Illinois, upon notice and motion made within a reasonable time before trail, the court may order an evaluation concerning the best interest of the child as it relates to custody, visitation, or removal. The motion may be made by a party, a parent, the child’s custodian, the attorney for the child, the child’s guardian ad litem, or the child’s representative. The requested evaluation may be in place of or in addition to an evaluation conducted under subsection (b) Section 604.

    The motion shall state the identity of the proposed evaluator and set forth the evaluator’s specialty or discipline. The court may refuse to order an evaluation by the proposed evaluator, but in the event, the court may permit the party seeking the evaluation to
    propose one or more other evaluators.

  • (b) An order for an evaluation shall fix the time, place, conditions, and scope of the evaluation and shall designate the evaluator. A party or person shall not be required to travel an unreasonable distance for the evaluation.
  • (c) The person requesting an evaluator shall pay the fee for the evaluation unless otherwise ordered by the court.
  • (d) Within 21 days after the completion of the evaluation, if the moving party or person intends to call the evaluator as a witness, the evaluator shall prepare and mail or deliver to the attorneys of record duplicate originals of the written evaluation. The evaluation shall set forth the evaluator’s findings, the results of all tests administered, and the evaluator’s conclusions and recommendations. If the written evaluation is not delivered or mailed to
    the attorneys within 21 days or within any extensions or modifications granted by the court, the written evaluation and the evaluator’s testimony, conclusions, and recommendations may not be received into evidence.
  • (e) The person calling an evaluator to testify at trail shall disclose the evaluator as an opinion witness in accordance with the Supreme Court Rules.
  • (f) Subject to compliance with the Supreme Court Rules, nothing in this Section bars a person who did not request the evaluation from calling the evaluator as a witness. In the case, however, that person shall pay the evaluator’s fee for testifying unless otherwise ordered by the court.
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