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DID YOU KNOW BY SANTA CLARITA DIVORCE ATTORNEY F.M. ZAVALA

COURT ORDERED CHILD CUSTODY EVALUATIONS IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY DIVORCE AND CHILD CUSTODY CASES


Under California Family Code § 3111

In a contested proceeding involving child custody or visitation rights, the court may appoint a child custody evaluator to conduct a child custody evaluation in cases where the court determines it is in the best interest of the child.

(1) A "child custody evaluator" is a court-appointed investigator.

(2) A "child custody evaluation" is an investigation and analysis of the health, safety, welfare, and best interest of a child with regard to disputed custody and visitation issues.


All child custody evaluators must meet the qualifications, training, and continuing education requirements specified in Family Code sections 1815, 1816, and 3111, and CA rules 5.225 and 5.230.


Licensing requirements

A person appointed as a child custody evaluator meets the licensing criteria if:

(1) The person is licensed as a:

(A) Physician and either is a board-certified psychiatrist or has completed a residency in

psychiatry;

(B) Psychologist;

(C) Marriage and family therapist;

(D) Clinical social worker; or

(E) Professional clinical counselor qualified to assess couples and families.

Education and training requirements

Before appointment, a child custody evaluator must complete 40 hours of education and training, which must include all the following topics:

(1) The psychological and developmental needs of children, especially as those needs relate to

decisions about child custody and visitation;

(2) Family dynamics, including, but not limited to, parent-child relationships, blended families, and

extended family relationships;

(3) The effects of separation, divorce, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, child physical or

emotional abuse or neglect, substance abuse, and interparental conflict on the psychological

and developmental needs of children and adults;

(4) The assessment of child sexual abuse issues.

An evaluator shall participate in a program of continuing instruction in domestic violence, including child abuse.



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