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Child Custody and Access Assessments
(7) The person appointed under subsection (1) shall file his or her report with the clerk or local registrar of the court.
(8) The clerk or local registrar of the court shall give a copy of the report to each of the parties and to counsel, if any, representing the child.
(9) The report mentioned in subsection (7) is admissible in evidence in the application.
(10) Any of the parties, and counsel, if any, representing the child, may require the person appointed under subsection (1) to attend as a witness at the hearing of the application.
(11) Upon motion, the court by order may give such directions in respect of the assessment as the court considers appropriate.
(12) The court shall require the parties to pay the fees and expenses of the person appointed under subsection (1).
(13) The court shall specify in the order the proportions or amounts of the fees and expenses that the court requires each party to pay.
(14) The court may relieve a party from responsibility for payment of any of the fees and expenses of the person appointed under subsection (1) where the court is satisfied that payment would cause serious financial hardship to the party.
(15) The appointment of a person under subsection (1) does not prevent the parties or counsel representing the child from submitting other expert evidence as to the needs of the child and the ability and willingness of the parties or any of them to satisfy the needs of the child.
Should an order for a child custody assessment be made?Subsection 30(2) provides that an order “may” be made rather than an order “shall” be made. As such, it is in the court’s discretion as to whether to make an order. How does the court exercise its discretion?