730 Custody Evaluation

In custody cases where parents cannot agree on a sharing plan, California Judges often require reports and recommendations of Child Custody Evaluators.  According to California Rule of Court 5.220(c)(3), “A ‘child custody evaluation’ is an expert investigation and analysis of the health, safety, welfare, and best interest of children with regard to disputed custody and visitation issues.”  A Child Custody Evaluator is an unbiased mental health professional trained and experienced with family matters who provides the Court with an assessment of the child’s needs and the family’s functioning. This is commonly known as the 730 Custody Evaluation.

The evaluation includes interviews with the children, parents, and other family members. The evaluator gathers information from additional sources, such as teachers, doctors, and/or police.  Another part of a 730  evaluation is psychological testing.  Once all the information is gathered, a 730 evaluation report is produced which provides an understanding of the family dynamics and the children’s needs.

Although evaluators are trained licensed therapists and have a compassionate understanding of the challenges that the parents and children are facing, they do not provide therapy during the evaluation process.

Averagely a 730 evaluation takes about 3 months to prepare. This may be longer if the parents or legal representatives are not readily available. Cooperation by all sides will make the evaluation not only easier but quicker and more cost-effective.

730 Evaluation Costs/Fees

If the evaluation takes place within LA County, the costs are usually estimated to be from $7000 to $12000, depending on the complexity and the number of children involved. If the case is outside LA Couty additional costs will incur due to traveling costs and additional time spent to travel.