Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure
Rule 12.363 Evaluation of Minor Child, Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure
(a) Appointment of Mental Health Professional or Other Expert.
(1) When the issue of time-sharing, parental responsibility, ultimate decision-making, or a parenting plan for a minor child is in controversy, the court, on motion of any party or the court’s own motion, may appoint a licensed mental health professional or other expert for an examination, evaluation, testing, or interview of any minor child or to conduct a social or home study investigation. The parties may agree on the particular expert to be appointed, subject to approval by the court. If the parties have agreed, they shall submit an order including the name, address, telephone number, area of expertise, and professional qualifications of the expert. If the parties have agreed on the need for an expert and cannot agree on the selection, the court shall appoint an expert.
(2) After the examination, evaluation, or investigation, any party may file a motion for an additional expert examination, evaluation, interview, testing, or investigation by a licensed mental health professional or other expert. The court upon hearing may permit the additional examination, evaluation, testing, or interview based on good cause shown that further examinations, testing, interviews, or evaluations would be in the best interests of the minor child.
(3) Any order entered under this rule shall specify the issues to be addressed by the expert.
(4) Any order entered under this rule may require that all interviews of the child be recorded and the tapes be maintained as part of the expert’s file.
(5) The order appointing the expert shall include an initial allocation of responsibility for payment.
(6) A copy of the order of appointment shall be provided immediately to the expert by the court unless otherwise directed by the court. The order shall direct the parties to contact the expert or investigator appointed by the court to establish an appointment schedule to facilitate timely completion of the evaluation.