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What Happens During A Full Evaluation?
Although sometimes altered to fit the needs of a particular situation, evaluations generally follow a definite pattern in terms of the steps taken to obtain information:
  • Interviews with the parents may be held jointly except in domestic violence cases or where it is otherwise inappropriate
  • Observation of the children with each of the parents in each parent's home and interviews with all other members of the household
  • Individual age-appropriate interviews with each child at issue, usually take place in the home of each parent.
  • All pertinent collateral information
  • Interviews are done with other significant people usually by telephone. Evaluators exercise discretion in selecting those persons most likely to contribute information central to determining the best interests of each child.
Every effort is made to apply comparable procedures with both parties. If a parent resides in a neighboring county, the evaluator may ask that parent to come to Los Angeles County for the office interview and may either make the home call or ask an appropriate agency in the other county to go to the home. If the party resides at a greater distance and is unable to be interviewed in Los Angeles, the evaluator will rely on a local agency where available. In those rare cases in which the evaluator is ordered to go to another jurisdiction for purposes of evaluating a parent in his/her own environment, orders must include an order for prepayment of travel expenses.
Copyright 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles