Last updated: 5/29/2015
Child Custody Evaluation Order (SFUFC-11.16-F}Start Your Free Trial $ 34.00
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Case Name: Case Number: APPOINTMENT 1. is appointed the court's expert, pursuant to Evidence Code Section 730 and California Rule of Court 5.220 for the purpose of conducting a custody evaluation in this proceeding. The address and telephone number of the evaluator is: SCOPE OF EVALUATION 2. The evaluator will investigate and advise the Court as to the health, safety, welfare and best interests of the parties' child(ren) in connection with the disputed custody and visitation issues in this matter. This will be a full evaluation, investigation and assessment, intended to provide the Court with a comprehensive examination of the health, safety, welfare and best interests of the child(ren). The major issues to be addressed in the evaluation are: . Or, This will be a Brief Focused Assessment (BFA), investigation and assessment. See Attachment A for specific issues to be addressed by BFA. 3. The evaluator will make recommendations based on what he or she perceives to be in the best interests of the child(ren); what is necessary to promote the development, emotional adjustment and psychological well being of the child(ren). 4. The evaluator has quasi-judicial immunity. EVALUATOR'S OBLIGATIONS 5. Except as limited by the court's order for a Brief Focused Assessment, the evaluator will use data and information that will allow the evaluator to observe and consider each party in comparable ways and to substantiate (from multiple sources when possible) interpretations and conclusions regarding: a. each child's developmental needs; b. the quality of attachment to each parent and that parent's social environment; c. the child's reactions to the separation, divorce or parental conflict. 6. This process may include, but is not limited to: a. reviewing pertinent documents related to custody, including local police records; b. observing parent-child interaction unless contraindicated to protect the best Page 1 of 10 American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com Case Name: interest of the child; Case Number: c. interviewing parents together, individually or both together and individually unless it is contraindicated, to assess each parent's: (i) capacity for setting age-appropriate limits and for understanding and responding to the child's needs; (ii) history of involvement in caring for the child; (iii) methods for working toward resolution of the child custody conflict; (iv) history of child abuse, domestic violence, substance abuse, and psychiatric illness; and (v) psychological and social functioning d. conducting age-appropriate interviews; e. observing the child(ren) with each parent, stepparent, siblings, and step and half siblings together, separately or in whatever way the evaluator thinks best to accomplish the goal of the evaluation; f. collecting relevant corroborating information or documents as permitted by law; g. consulting with other experts for the purposes of obtaining feedback, case review or to obtain access to specific expertise. Any consultant used by the evaluator is bound to maintain confidentiality regarding the information learned; h. providing the child(ren) with an age appropriate explanation of the evaluation process, and advising them that statements made by them to the evaluator may not be confidential: that it is possible that their parents may be informed of their statements. PARTIES' COOPERATION WITH EVALUATOR 7. The court orders the parties to follow all requests made of them by the evaluator so that the evaluator can conduct the evaluation, as required by law. Each party is required to complete any tasks required of him or her by the evaluator in a timely manner, as the evaluator may indicate. Specifically, each party shall: a. contact the evaluator named above within ten (10) court days of this order being filed with the court, to set an initial appointment time, to pay the evaluator's fees, and to sign any papers required of the evaluator to begin the custody evaluation process. Both parties will make the scheduling of appointments with the evaluator a priority and will set appointments with the evaluator on a time schedule requested by the evaluator. b. participate in such testing and interviews as directed by the evaluator; c. participate in psychological testing with whomever the evaluator recommends; d. participate in an assessment by an independent specialist such as a substance abuse specialist, a neuropsychologist or other specialist as recommended by the evaluator; e. allow the evaluator the ability to interview members of the immediate and/or Page 2 of 10 American LegalNet, Inc. www.FormsWorkFlow.com Case Name: extended family of both parents at the evaluator's sole discretion; Case Number: f. allow the evaluator the ability to interview any and all other persons whom the evaluator deems to have information relevant to the scope of the evaluation; g. allow the evaluator the ability to interview any service providers who have worked, or had a relationship with, either of the parents or the child; h. determine the protocol of all interviews and sessions to be conducted by the evaluator; i. sign any and all releases for records and information requested by the evaluator so that the evaluator has access to all information relevant to the scope of the evaluation, such as documents and information from outside sources, including, but not limited to: psychiatrists, mediators, psychologists, social workers, teachers and school personnel, physicians, police departments, hospitals and child protection workers. This includes past records as well as reports from professionals who may be involved with any of the parties at the time of litigation, and includes records and information regarding both parties, as well as their child(ren). 8. The parties are ordered to provide the evaluator copies of all pleadings, orders and correspondence that relate to the issues being evaluated, including any document requested by the evaluator. The parties may submit a list of people that they believe should be interviewed by the evaluator. The evaluator may, or may not, interview any of the people suggested by the parties, at his or her sole discretion. Any communications or documents provided to the evaluator must also be provided simultaneously to the opposing party. PARTIES' RESPONSIBILITY FOR EVALUATOR FEES 9. The court orders the parties to pay the evaluator's fees and costs as follows, unless there is a subsequent explicit order to the contrary: will pay % of the evalu