In family law cases in California where the parties disagree about issues around child custody or judges have concerns about mental health, substance abuse, or domestic violence, judges can order a 3111 or 730 Evaluation. Once appointed, the individual, typically a Psychologist, Psychiatrist, or Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMTFT), will evaluation both parents, all of the children, and the parent-child relationship with both parents.
Typically this will include interviews with both parents separately, interviews with the children when age appropriate, and contacting collateral contacts, as well as reviewing court documents. This process takes anywhere from 8 weeks to a year to complete depending on the case.
After a full evaluation, the evaluator will write a comprehensive report making recommendations about the case to the judge.
This may include
- Custody and Visitation Schedule
- Holiday Schedule
- Whether Supervised Visits should take place
- What rules should be in place between parents
- How parents should resolve disputes
- Any other relevant issues
In disputes that involve complex issues such as mental health or personality disorders, substance abuse, domestic violence or sexual abuse, the evaluator will dive into the veracity of those issues.
There are both negatives and positives to having an evaluation ordered. Although the evaluation is simply a recommendation, it will hold a great deal of weight with the judge given the amount of time the Evaluator spent with and around the parties. The biggest negative is research has shown that Evaluators are no better at determining truth from fiction, despite the amount of time with the parties and their conclusions will carry great weight. The positive is that they are most likely very well qualified to diagnose mental issues, so if there are allegations of mental instability, they are more equipped to diagnose those.
If you are a father in Orange, Riverside, or San Bernardino Counties, or Greater Southern California and you have been ordered to complete an evaluation or are looking into asking for an evaluation, Call Reel Fathers Rights today to discuss your situation.