In some high conflict cases, California judges will order a “Child Custody Evaluation”, also referred to as a “Psychological Evaluation” or a “730 Evaluation” (this is because the expert performing the evaluation is appointed pursuant to Evidence Code §730).
A custody evaluation can be requested by one party, can be agreed to by the parties (stipulation) or can be ordered by a Judge on his/her own motion. However, once the order is made, the first step will be to decide who will perform the evaluation. Our evaluators meet certain qualifications which are laid out in detail in Family Code §3111.
Custody evaluations are expensive; there is no way around that. The typical evaluation will cost between $4000.00 and $25,000 dollars. I have seen them completed for as little as $5,000 (rare) and I have seen them cost nearly $100,000 (those evaluations are equally as rare). The costs skyrocket with the number of people other than the parents themselves (often called 'collaterals') whose input is required.
Custody evaluations can play an important role in your child custody case and the results of the evaluation can have long lasting effects on the relationship between you and your children. That is why it is important to consult with a qualified child custody litigator prior to starting the process.
It typically takes at least three months for an expert psychologist or MFT to complete all the necessary interviews and write a detailed report. Which may take up to four months depending on the case. This report is then submitted to the attorneys and to the Court.
Most courts require this report to be submitted at least 10 days prior to a hearing, so that both sides have ample time to review it.
If you have anticipate a 730 evaluation or have been ordered to complete one, give us a call immediately. We work with everyone on this important matter. We have our own Spanish interpreters, so there is never a need for you to bring someone for our appointments for the Spanish speaking clients. We remain consistent in our work and take pride in our confidentiality.
We will ask for a retainer fee to start the process and will ask all parties to sign waivers so that our Evaluators can get started asap. We have experience in domestic violence, substance abuse, move away, and many other orders for our 730 evaluations.
Supervised Court Monitors:
The public policy of the state of California is to protect the best interest of children whose parents have a custody or visitation matter in family court. Sometimes, based on issues of protection and safety, a judge will order that a child only have contact with a parent when a neutral third person is present during the visitation. This type of third-person visitation arrangement is often called “supervised visitation.”
A judge may order supervised visitation for many reasons, like:
To give the visiting parent a chance to address specific issues;
To help reintroduce a parent and a child after a long absence;
To help introduce a parent and a child when there has been no existing relationship between them;
When there is a history or allegations of domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, or substance abuse;
When there are parenting concerns or mental illness; or
When there is a parental threat of abduction.
The court order will specify the time and duration of the visits. Sometimes, the court order will also specify who will provide the supervised visitation services and where the visits will take place.
Also, you will have an in-person meeting with the provider. Make a list of questions you have for the provider and make sure you understand what services will be provided and what is expected of you.
When you interview the provider in person, discuss the provider’s policies and procedures, like:
Fees and method of payment,
Safety and security measures,
Program conditions and guidelines,
Hours of operation,
Reasons for interrupting or ending a visit,
Confidentiality, and Termination process.
We have Spanish speaking supervised court monitors and our staff is willing to travel to most parts of San Diego County and Imperial County. Most of our court monitors have law enforcement experience. Safety is a high priority for us!