blog home Child Custody The 730 Assessment: How Can It Affect Child Custody?
Posted by Thomas Huguenor on Nov 25, 2019 in Custody
A 730 rating is an assessment performed by a court-appointed expert to provide information and advice to the court on issues that may require mediation. These expert assessments are described in the California Evidence Code 730. 730 reviews are useful to the court in cases where custody is controversial.
What is a custody assessment?
A custody assessment is a type of 730 that is conducted to provide specific information and professional recommendations about the issues that arise from custody. A custody review can be requested by a court or by one or both parents. Hence, these cases determine the futures of both children and parents, as these assessments can be a critical part of the process in setting custody arrangements.
The details of a custody assessment are detailed in California Rules of Court 5,220. The steps are as follows:
- Review of relevant documents related to custody, including local police records;
- Observation of parent-child interaction (unless contraindicated to protect the child’s best interests);
- Interview parents collectively, individually, or both collectively and individually (unless contraindicated in cases of domestic violence) to assess:
I. Ability to set age-appropriate boundaries and understand and respond to the child’s needs;
ii. History of participation in caring for the child;
iii. Methods of resolving the custody conflict;
iv. History of child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, and psychiatric illness; and
v. psychological and social functioning;
- Carrying out age-appropriate interviews and observations with the children, both parents, stepparents, step-siblings and half-siblings, together, separately or both together and separately, unless this is contraindicated, in order to protect the best interests of the child;
- Collect relevant confirmatory information or documents as permitted by law; and
- Consultation with other experts to develop information beyond the scope or area of expertise of the evaluator.
Are the recommendations final?
If the recommendations on custody of both parents are satisfactory, you can sign an agreement to follow the recommendations to expedite the resolution of the case. In many cases, however, the evaluation is in favor of one parent over the other. If you do not agree with a review, it is important to know that the recommendations are not final. If you think the recommendation does justice to you or your child, you have the right to contest it.
Several cases can result in a valuation being challenged in court, e.g. B. if a bias in the evaluators is identified or a failure to consider relevant information can be demonstrated. It is also a parent’s right to hire their own child expert to assess a court-ordered 730 review and make recommendations.
At Huguenor Mattis, APC, we have over 35 years of family law experience and are here to help. If you are concerned about a 730 rating, call us today at (858) 458-9500 for a free consultation.