Consent and Waiver Form:
The Consent and Waiver Form stipulates that:
- The clinician shall report all findings to the court.
- The respective attorneys, but not the parties, shall receive copies
of the report.
- The parties waive their right to call the clinician for testimony
- The parties shall also waive payment and report filing deadlines.
- Each party shall pay the Application Fee within fourteen (14) days
of the custody conference or hearing.
- All fees shall be paid in a timely manner in accord with CCES policy.
- The parties will cooperate in scheduling so that all necessary appointments
can be completed within 4-6 weeks.
Conflict of Interest:
CCES evaluators shall not have dual relationships with
CCES clients, (e.g., serving as a therapist to one member of the family
and then as an evaluator in the custody dispute). A evaluator shall disqualify
himself/herself as an evaluator:
- where she/he has had prior professional or personal contact with
that CCES client, or with members of her/his family, or with significant
others of the client;
- when that evaluator has been a client of the attorney, or vice versa.
The new CCES client should report any prior or current
association with an evaluator at the time of the custody conference.
Definitions: Unopened Case, Reopened Case, Incomplete
Evaluation, Complete Evaluation, Second Evaluation:
- A case is designated as Unopened when one or both parties fail
to submit the application fee within the established time limit. The
court is notified that the case has been closed.
- A case is designated as Reopened when both parties have filed
their Application Fees within the 6-month time limit. The court is notified
only by receiving the final report.
- An evaluation is deemed Incomplete when the case has
been assigned to an evaluator but there is insufficient information
to complete a report of findings and a recommendation. The evaluator
closes the case. The court is informed.
- An evaluation is deemed Complete when all necessary sessions
have been held and a report has been generated and sent to the court
and the attorneys. “Necessary” sessions include the initial
individual interviews with each party, the first joint interview with
both parties, and all interviews with all of the children.
- A Second Evaluation or Re-evaluation indicates that
three months have elapsed [see previous paragraph] or that the first
evaluation has been completed and the court (or the parties) wish
for the parties’ return to CCES. Parties undergoing a Second
Evaluation must repeat the process in full, i.e.,submission of the
Referral Form and the Consent and Waiver Form to the custody master,
payment of the application fees to CCES, payment of the full evaluation
fee to the evaluator, and participation in the CCES process in its entirety.
The Director shall appoint an evaluator with input from the parties
and from the first evaluator.
The parties should not contact the original evaluator to begin a Second
Evaluation. Evaluators who receive such a request will direct the
parties to the Director of CCES. A new evaluator will complete the process
from beginning to end and will not rely on data collected by the first
evaluator. However, with the permission of both parties, the new evaluator
may receive and read the first evaluator’s report.
Review of Reports and Other Documents/Confidentiality:
This policy has two objectives: 1) to make the reports
accessible to the clients; and 2) to protect the confidentiality of the
report because of the sensitive material it may contain.
- All notification or informational letters, etc. sent to the court
by CCES evaluators shall be copied to counsel or to pro se
- Parties may review the final CCES report in the office of their attorneys.
Counsel agrees not to distribute a copy of this report to the clients.
Counsel agrees that the report shall not be attached as part of any
other petition or proceeding. In reviewing the report, parties may take
notes on its contents.
- Parties not represented by counsel (pro se)can arrange to review the
report at the custody master’s office. The client may take notes.
Parties will not be restricted in the number of times they can review
the report unless other considerations prevail, e.g., inappropriate
- Collateral persons who participated in the evaluation process, i.e.,
stepparents, grandparents, etc., may review only those portions of the
report related to them.
- Court personnel will make a copy of the report available to the client
for use at a hearing but the client cannot take this copy with him/her
at the completion of the hearing.
Release of CCES Reports to Mental Health Professionals
or New Attorneys:
CCES will release a copy of the report to designated
mental health agencies or private practitioners or to newly retained counsel.
In order for a mental health professional or agency to receive a copy
of the report, both parties to the litigation must sign an appropriate
Release of Information form and submit that to the Director (not to the
evaluator). If the CCES client retains a new attorney, in order to obtain
a copy of any existing report, that attorney must file a letter with the
Director indicating his/her representation of the client.
Ex Parte Rules:
To protect the objectivity and impartial nature of the
evaluation process, evaluators, attorneys, and the parties shall follow
1) All written communications from the
attorneys or the parties to the evaluator, or from the evaluator to the
parties or attorneys, must be copied to both attorneys.
2) If the party is pro se, he/she shall receive a
copy of any written communication regarding the case, except for the
final report. [See Review of Reports above.]
3) Telephone calls to or from the CCES evaluator to an attorney
or pro se client must include the participation of the other
attorney or pro se client, except for routine notifications.
Written notices about scheduling are exempt from ex parte rules.
4) The responsibility for copying and sharing documents submitted
to the evaluator for review shall fall on the parties and/or the attorneys,
not on the CCES evaluator.
5) Routine questions about the CCES process should go to the
Director and not to individual evaluators.
6) The content of any telephone conversation, other than routine
notifications, from the party to the evaluator or from an interested third
party to the evaluator shall be revealed to the other party as soon as
Stipulated Orders Changing or Influencing the
CCES Procedure Shall Not Be Binding:
A stipulated order, in which the parties have agreed
on their own to psychological testing, or home studies, or to any other
change in the CCES procedure, does not constitute cause, and such orders
will not be binding on CCES.