The roll of 730 evaluations in child custody matters

Mental health evaluations may be necessary in certain instances when making decisions regarding children. Child custody determinations are made with children’s best interests in mind. To ascertain what those best interests are, a family court judge in San Francisco may order what are called 730 evaluations. A court mediator or a parents can also request a 730 evaluation.

Why a 730 evaluation might be ordered

A 730 evaluation might be ordered by a family court judge for a number of reasons. Here are a few of them:

  • A parent wants to move out of state and take the child
  • When parenting is in question
  • Mental illness
  • The child has special needs
  • Domestic violence is present
  • A history of substance abuse

In these cases, 730 evaluations can be made by psychologists, psychiatrists, licensed clinical social workers or family therapists. Professionals must be registered in California and must have finished necessary training. Evaluations may take weeks or even months depending on the circumstances since interviewing children and parents and others may be necessary.

How to prepare for an evaluation

Here are some things for parents to keep in mind when facing a 730 evaluation:

  • Show that the children are a priority
  • Have legal advice and guidance
  • Be open and honest
  • Do not speak negatively about the other parent
  • Ask questions when something is unclear
  • Know strengths and weaknesses

A parent in San Francisco needing to prepare for a 730 evaluation regarding child custody issues may benefit from first speaking with an attorney. These evaluations can be complex as well as stressful. An experienced lawyer can answer all of one’s questions and concerns while providing guidance throughout the process.