Custody Investigations and Reports

  • (a) In contested custody proceeding, and in other custody proceedings if a parent or the child’s custodian so requests, the court may order an investigation and report concerning custodial arrangements for the child. The investigation and report may be made by a child welfare agency approved by the Department of Children and Family Services, but shall not be made by that Department unless the court determines either that there is no child welfare agency available or that the parent or the child’s custodian is financially unable to pay for the investigation or report.
  • (b) In preparing his report concerning a child, the investigator may consult any person who may have information about the child and his potential custodial arrangements. Under order of the court, the investigator may refer the child to professional personnel for diagnosis. The investigator may consult with and obtain information from medical, psychiatric or other expert persons who have served the child in the past, without obtaining the consent of the parent or the child’s custodian. The child’s consent must be obtained if he has reached the age of 16, unless the court finds that he lacks mental capacity to consent.
  • (c) The investigator shall mail the report to counsel, and to any party not represented by counsel, at least 10 days prior to the hearing. The court may examine and consider the investigator’s report in determining custody. The investigator shall make available to counsel, the investigator’s file of underlying data, reports, and the complete texts of diagnostic reports made to the investigator pursuant to the provisions of subsection (b) the Section, and the names and addresses of all persons whom the investigator has consulted. Any party to the proceeding may call the investigator, or any person whom he has consulted, as a court’s witness, for cross-examination. A party may not waive his right of cross-examination prior to the hearing.