Child Custody: What You Should Know About Custody and Visitation Evaluations

Child custody and visitation

When it comes to child custody and visitation, there are many factors that come under consideration. One such issue is the Evidence Code Section 730 evaluation.

But what exactly is an Evidence Code Section 730 evaluation? And when is one needed? Let’s take a look at the basics.

The 730 Evaluation’s Role in Child Custody Cases

In family law cases, a 730 evaluation is most often used to deal with highly contested issues of custody and visitation. When an Evidence Code 730 evaluation is ordered by the court, or agreed to by the parties, an expert is appointed to provide a written report to the court based upon interviews with the parents, a psychological evaluation of both parties, and analysis of all the factors in the case that bear on the best interests of the children.

Evidence Code 730 reads in part:

When it appears to the court, at any time before or during the trial of an action, that expert evidence is or may be required by the court or by any party to the action, the court on its own motion or on motion of any party may appoint one or more experts to investigate, to render a report as may be ordered by the court, and to testify as an expert at the trial of the action relative to the fact or matter as to which the expert evidence is or may be required.

When Parties Object to the 730 Evaluation in a Child Custody Case

The court may make this sort of order even if both parties object, and the judge may order both parties to share the costs, or one party to pay all of the costs.

Frequently, parties will object to the costs or object because they do not believe such an expert will prove useful to the Court or parties in resolving the custody and visitation matters at hand. If the parties do not agree on retaining a particular expert, the court may appoint one from a list of local experts.

Most often, in a high conflict case, if the parties can afford a 730 evaluation, the expert’s report and his or her testimony could be very beneficial in assisting the Court with orders, thus, toward a resolution sooner rather than full litigation through trial.

Contact a San Diego Divorce Lawyer

When you’re going through a divorce, an experienced divorce attorney can help you understand the process and how to navigate child custody issues, including 730 evaluations.

If you are considering divorce or have already made the difficult decision to pursue divorce and have questions, contact JWB Family Law to schedule a free consultation.

The Importance of the CFLS Designation

A Certified Family Law Specialist, or CFLS, is an attorney who has obtained certification in the standards of California family law and demonstrated optimal legal competence. Attorneys who obtain this certification have specific expertise in all aspects of family law, which includes divorce or the dissolution of marriagechild and spousal support, child custody, and temporary restraining orders, among other areas of emphasis.

Not every attorney practicing family law has obtained this certification. In fact, the designation remains relatively rare—there are fewer than 2,000 CFLS attorneys in California and fewer than 200 in San Diego.

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