What is a 730 Child Custody Evaluation?

Usually, the California Family Court Judge orders a Child Custody Evaluation which is also coined as “730 Evaluation” in order to look into the parenting practices and mental health of either one or both of the parents. Despite the fact that it is the order of a Judge for the Evaluation, either of the party in the Dissolution Case might ask a 730 Evaluation by an agreement and file a “Stipulation.”

In some of the California jurisdictions, a Focused-Issue Evaluation or a Mini Evaluation is permitted. During this case, 730 Evaluation is far less extensive and it might only cover a specific issue. This Mini Evaluation could take a little time. It does not matter what type of an evaluation is conducted, the reasons behind it including the qualification of the evaluator is going to remain the same.

When is 730 Evaluation Needed?

Given a chance that the best interests of a child are in question, it is probable that a Judge at any state or even a California Judge in that matter is going to request for a 730 Child Custody Evaluation. Visitation and custody orders usually depend on the results of these type of evaluations that can be ordered for multiple reasons including:

  • Issues concerning child abuse
  • Mental health problems
  • Substance abuse
  • The other parent wants to move out of the state while the other one is objecting
  • Questionable practices in parenting which can negatively affect the child
  • Both of the parents are not able to agree on a custodial arrangement
  • A question about the upbringing of the child


The Custody Evaluator

In the state of California, this custody evaluation could be conducted by a qualified professional in mental health like a psychologist, a psychiatrist, and social workers. This can also be conducted by a Family or Marriage therapist.

Even if the psychologist is serving as a child evaluator, he or she might depend on other psychologists in order to finish and evaluate the test when it is in a highly skilled area. This psychological test is going to reveal the family and the personality dynamics. At the same time, this can also reveal the parenting methods and mental health problems. A tester is not going to make any custody recommendation; the evaluator is going to put what their recommendation is, and this usually depends on the results of the test. After this, a formal report has to be done in order to be shown to the court.

Results of an Evaluation Report

Before any custody hearing happens, the evaluator is going to release a report for all of the parties involved in the case, even the court is part of it. Given a chance that both of the parties accept this report, it is going to be submitted as evidence.