A Family Law Judicial Officer may order the parties in a child custody and visitation dispute to undergo an evaluation in order to obtain additional information regarding the best interests of the child(ren). When an evaluation is ordered by the court, the parties will have the opportunity to select a mutually-agreeable evaluator from the court’s Resource List. The types of child custody evaluations typically ordered in Family Law include a 3111 Evaluation, 3118 Evaluation or a 730 Evaluation as outlined below:
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 with the court (10 days before beginning the evaluation) stating they meet the minimum education, experience and training requirements.
730 Evaluators often conduct a psychological assessment of the parents as part of the evaluation process; therefore, 730 Evaluators must be qualified and appropriately licensed to administer, score, and interpret the psychological test.