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Custody Evaluation (730) in CA;

Torrance, CA |

We were ordered a full custody evaluation for our 1 y.o. baby; baby girl lives with me and I m the primary custodial parent; i had a job offer on the east coast and requested a move away; temp. orders are in place for custody/visitation; What is this custody evaluation about? What it can tell a judge differently from the facts we could have presented from both sides? How does this custody evaluation can go against my relocation with our daughter? Thank you!

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

In any contested custody or visitation proceeding, the court may appoint a “child custody evaluator” to conduct a “child custody evaluation” and prepare a confidential written report for the court's consideration where the court determines that an evaluation is in the child's best interests.

The main factor that the Court is considering is whether the move to the east coast is in the best interests of your daughter. So, sometimes they look to a third party neutral person to evaluate the case and give recommendations, in this case a custody evaluation. The evaluator should interview all parties, see how they interact with the child, may interview other family members, in other cases they could meet with doctors or interview people at the children's school. The evaluator should also do a home visit, depending on whether it is a private or Court evaluator.

Warning: This information is not intended to constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon in lieu of consultation with appropriate legal advisors. Further, this response does not constitute an attorney-client relationship and any privileges associated with that relationship.

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Asker

Posted

how can I get a Court Evaluator? the judge said to split the cost for a private full evaluation. the baby is 1 year old- can we get an expedite evaluation? I feel like I was misrepresented again with the attorney I had. Please help. Thanks!

Magdalena Ann Labranch

Magdalena Ann Labranch

Posted

The judge should have set guidelines on how to select an evaluation. For example, sometimes the Court will say one parent picks three and then the other parent picks from those three. If the Judge didn't, you should start looking. The faster you select an evaluator, the faster the evaluation will begin and you will get a recommendation. If the Judge ordered a split cost, then you pay the evaluator directly whatever their fees/retainers are. I definitely suggest you contact an attorney. If you are having trouble finding one, you should contact your local bar association who has a referral panel or low-fee referral panel for attorneys in your area. They may also be able to suggest a custody evaluator.

Asker

Posted

We agreed to pick three names each, the judge did not set anything, she left room without the closing the hearing. I can not afford to pay even the half of the cost; Can I file to reconsider her decision? I am bypassing jobs and I am held as a hostage now in CA. Is there a COurt Evaluator, free one?

Magdalena Ann Labranch

Magdalena Ann Labranch

Posted

You have 10 days from the order to file a motion for reconsideration. I am not sure if you are within that timeframe. If you cannot agree to an evaluator you, can go back to Court and the Judge will select one. Private evaluations are not free. If the Judge set for reallocation later, that means that there is a possibility that one of the parties may pay for the entire cost but you would still be responsible for paying half to get it started. Unfortunately since you are requesting the move away you have the burden of showing that it is in the best interests of the child to move with you. Part of that process is having an evaluation so a third party can make a recommendation to the Judge. I strongly suggest you contact an attorney in your area.

Asker

Posted

okay. Thank you so much for your suggestions.

Posted

You need to speak to an experienced family law attorney NOW, BEFORE the evaluation STARTS; it will save you time, trouble and money in the long run, and you don't want to be in the position of trying to "fix" this if it goes badly. The judge should have been quite specific as to the information which the evaluator is supposed to provide, and the process for getting it (with a one-year old, for example, the evaluator's not going to "interview" the child!).

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the judge did not explain anything at all, she just said that she wants a professional tell her what is the best interest of the child and she ordered me to pay for half of it; although, I m not working mother. The attorney that was with me said that I have to find money and start evaluation!! HOw can I ask the court to order a Court Evaluation, free or make my husband pay for it? The purpose of the relocation was for a job to start making a living, plus I already lived there before the marriage. How does this custody evaluation can hurt me in the long run, except for turning down the jobs of course!! Thank you! Can I call you for a consultation?

Posted

A child custody evaluation conducted by a 730 expert is a full investigation and evaluation into what is in the “best interest of the child” in light of what you and your ex are asking for. A 730 expert is the Court’s expert and will provide at the conclusion of the examination a confidential report that will be provided to both parties and to the Court. Court’s rely heavily on a 730 expert’s recommendations. Therefore, it is imperative that during your interview you are responsive to the questions asked by the 730 expert. You have requested a move-away to the east coast with your 1 yr. old. Since it sounds like you are the primary custodial parent to your child and you have a job offer back east, the 730 expert will ask relevant questions about these 2 main facts. Exploration into what the status quo was prior to the move-away request, will also be scrutinized by the 730 expert, to ensure that the “best interest” of the child’s needs are being served. Credibility assessments are also conducted by the 730 expert to determine which party is being truthful and who is not. Although either party after the 730 report can contest portions or the entire 730 report through a 733 expert (2nd bite at the apple), getting your best evidence in with the 730 expert the first time around is always what one should strive for. This area of family law can get complex and I highly encourage you to seek competent counsel who can help navigate you through a 730 evaluation. It is serious business and not to be taken lightly.

This is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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