AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT A COURT MAY ORDER AN EVALUATION BY A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL OF THE PARTIES TO A CHILD CUSTODY PROCEEDING.
Amends GS 50-13.2 (various child custody provisions) to authorize courts to order mental health evaluations of parties in proceedings to establish or modify custody orders where one party objects to joint custody or seeks exclusive custody, and in proceedings to enforce custody or visitations orders where one party complies with the order and the other party either (i) demonstrates a pattern of willful non-compliance or (ii) has three violations of the order without reasonable excuse, or in other appropriate matters. The court may order the licensed mental health professional to submit a written report to the court on the evaluation in a reasonable time that is not to exceed three months, may consider the parties' good faith participation or lack of participation in the ordered evaluation when establishing, modifying, or enforcing custody orders; and may admit the mental health professional’s evaluation report into evidence regardless of any rules against hearsay. Effective October 1, 2021, and applies to pending and future proceedings regarding custody of a minor child.
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