Family Code Section 3110.5 outlines the education, experience and training requirements for child custody evaluators, which includes specific training for domestic violence cases and child sexual abuse. Child Custody Evaluator training requirements and qualifications are also specified in the California Rules of Court Rule 5.220 (Court-ordered child custody evaluations), Rule 5.225 (Appointment requirements for child custody evaluators) and Rule 5.230 (Domestic violence training standards for court-appointed child custody investigators and evaluators).
Once an evaluator has been appointed to a case, he or she must file a Declaration of Private Child Custody Evaluator Regarding Qualifications (FL-326) (external site pdf ) with the court stating they meet the minimum education, experience and training requirements. Additionally, Child Custody Evaluators must file an Annual Declaration of Child Custody Evaluator Qualifications (RI-FL007) (pdf ) with the court in order to be included on the court’s resource lists.
As 730 Evaluations typically involve psychological testing of the parents as part of the evaluation process, 730 Evaluators must be qualified and appropriately licensed to administer, score, and interpret the psychological test in order to be on the resource list.
If you would like to be on the court’s resource lists for child custody evaluators, or if you are already on the list(s) and would like to submit updated information, please complete the 3111/3118 Evaluator Application and/or the 730 Evaluator Application as appropriate (a separate application is required for 3111/3118 evaluators and 730 evaluators). Child Custody Evaluator applications can be obtained from any Family Court Services Office and should be returned to the Assistant Deputy Executive Officer of Family Court Services at 4175 Main Street, Riverside, CA 92501.
Evaluation reports should contain information consistent with Family Code Section 3118. Information contained in the report shall include the following as appropriate: documentation of material interviews, documentation of interviews with both parents, documentation of interviews with other parties; summary of any law enforcement investigation and criminal background check; summary of written reports from a therapist, forensic medical examiner, or other professional; written recommendations from the evaluator regarding therapeutic and safety needs of the child(ren); summary of any past investigations by Child Protective Services; summary of any information from Child Protective Services regarding the presence of domestic violence or substance abuse in the home; identification of any family member eligible for assistance from the Victims of Crime Program; and any other information the evaluator or investigator believes would be helpful to the court in determining what is in the best interests of the child. The court offers a Child Custody Evaluation Report template (RI-FL006) (pdf ) for optional use; however, all reports must be accompanied by a Notice Regarding Confidentiality of Child Custody Evaluation Report (FL-328) (external site pdf ).