When you’re facing a child custody dispute, you want to make sure your child’s best interests are being taken care of. That means ensuring your child is getting the best care, especially if you’re worried the custodial parent may not be the best fit.
When this happens, you may want to request an evaluation, but how do you do this? Contact The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock to find out how to request a 730 evaluation and take positive steps toward gaining custody of your child.
California Family Code allows for the court to appoint an independent evaluator when deciding matters of child custody or visitation. This person is called a 730 evaluator because this section of the code gives them the authority to make determinations about parenting plans and write a report that outlines their findings.
The results of a 730 evaluation are not admissible as evidence in court. This means that they cannot be used against you, but they can help inform decisions about child custody and visitation.
Qualified evaluators are required by law to have degrees in psychology or social work, with at least five years of experience working with children and families. However, some evaluators have advanced degrees in addition to those professional requirements, which can include PhDs.
The report is useful because it provides information on your parenting skills and the child’s best options. They can also warn about major issues, such as domestic abuse, which can help protect the children. Making sure your child is getting the best care possible provides peace of mind for both parents and can make child custody disputes feel less dire.
Your evaluator should be impartial, which means they cannot have any personal relationship with either parent that could affect their objectivity in evaluating your parenting abilities. For example, if you were previously married, a former partner or parent-in-law could not qualify as an acceptable evaluator because of their relationship with you.
There are many things that have to be done ahead of time, one of which is to file a Request for Order with the court, which is Form FL-300 in the county where your child resides.
The form can be obtained at your local courthouse or online. You must file it before your hearing date and submit it to the presiding judge or clerk of the court’s office where you will be filing. Your lawyer can help you with the details and ensure the form is filled out properly and in a way that will work to your advantage.
If the other side objects, they have fifteen days to file a written response and set a court date. If the other side agrees to your request, you may need to agree on whether or not you’ll share the 730 evaluation with them before requesting an order from the court.
Getting a 730 evaluation is yet another step you’ll need to take in the long, complex process of seeking a divorce, child custody, and other considerations. Make your case easier by relying on the guidance of a family law attorney with the tools you need for success.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact The Law Office of Laurence J. Brock by completing our online form or calling 909-466-7661.