I may be requested to appear in court to discuss my work on your case. Please note, if acting in the capacity of a parent coordinator or a custody evaluator, I do not automatically appear at your hearing. Should you request my presence at your hearing as either a fact witness or an expert witness, your attorney will need to issue me a subpoena and as a professional, I expect to be compensated for my time. Billing for my time takes into consideration many factors, such as potential therapy practice income loss for clients that must be rescheduled during the time I am in court, travel time to get to court, updates & reports to the court, and courtroom waiting time. I require a minimum of 14 days’ notice in order for me to clear my schedule to attend the hearing.
Charges for preparation time prior to a hearing:
In order to provide my best testimony for your hearing, I do charge appropriately for my time spent in preparation for your case, such as compiling notes, reviewing documents, reports & correspondence, etc. To be properly prepared, I set aside a minimum of two hours to review the work I completed on your case prior to the hearing. You will be charged for at least 2 hours of preparation work in addition to my time spent waiting in court to testify as I observe the hearing and my time testifying.
I do provide work all over the state and am willing to travel in order to provide testimony. I do have offices in Rapid City & Pierre and do not charge mileage if I am within the local area. If I am required to travel outside of Pierre or Rapid City to attend a hearing, I will be compensated at a rate of 58 cents/mile in addition to $20/hour for every hour spent driving. This amount will be deducted from your deposit that will be sent to me within 14 days prior to the hearing.
Custody Evaluation Testimony Fees:
I strive to write my reports in a manner that allows detailed explanations of my work and clear-cut recommendations about what I believe are the appropriate recommendations for your children. Once my report is submitted to the Court and the attorneys, my work as a custody evaluator ends. Should you decide to subpoena me to testify about my work at your hearing, my role then changes to that of an expert witness and you will be charged for my testimony. I require a $1000 deposit to be submitted to me at minimum of 14 days before I am called to testify. In order to be prepared for your hearing, I require 2 hours of preparation time prior to the hearing to review my notes, details about the case and my report.
If I am subpoenaed to court and am waiting or observing the hearing, my rate is $180/hour. If I am called to provide testimony, you will be billed at the rate of $180/hour. Once your hearing ends and I produce an accurate total of how much time I spent at the hearing, if there is a credit balance remaining from your deposit, I will return the funds to you. If there is a balance owing, you will be mailed a bill for the remainder of the balance, which is due in 30 days.
Parent Coordination Testimony Fees:
If I am required to attend a hearing for a parent coordination case, I require $1000 retainer to be sent to me 14 days prior to the hearing. If the parties need to be billed 50/50 for the retainer, please let me know that ahead of time. This fee is not included in your normal parent coordination pricing agreement.
You will be billed for the 2-hour preparation time it takes me to adequately prepare for your hearing. If I have to travel outside of the Pierre or Rapid City areas to attend court, you will be billed at the rate of 58 cents/mile for my travel. My rate to attend the hearing and provide testimony is $180/hour.
Remaining credit and balances owed after the conclusion of a hearing:
For parent coordination cases: At the conclusion of the hearing, if there is a credit balance on your account, I will refund you the remainder of the balance. However, if your parent coordination account has a balance owing to me, I will put the remaining funds on the outstanding balance of your account and send you a statement reflecting that.
For custody evaluations: If a credit balance remains on your account, I will, within 14 days, issue you a check in the mail that refunds either one or both parties, depending on the financial split arrangement, the balance that was left on the account.
If a balance is owed at the conclusion of a hearing, the parties will be issued a bill within 14 days notifying them of the balance owed and that payment is required within 30 days.
Cancellation of a hearing:
Your deposit prior to court must be received prior to 14 days of when your hearing is scheduled to be held. Occasionally, the parties will reach an agreement through their attorneys and will decide to cancel their court hearing. If your hearing is cancelled in less than 72 hours of the date it was scheduled to be held, you will only receive 50% of your deposit back. Please note, that as a professional who was subpoenaed to be at your hearing, I was required to cancel therapy clients, groups, and other meetings that I generate income from to be available to you for your case. In such short notice, I often cannot fill those appointment slots that were reserved for you, so I do expect to be compensated for the time that was allocated for your case. If I have already spent the two hours preparing for your case when it is cancelled, your refund will be 50% minus the 2 hours of preparation time I spent on the case already.
***If your hearing is cancelled in more than 72 hours, I will be happy to issue you the full amount of your deposit.