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Can Evaluations be done by Private Evaluators?
The court is empowered to appoint an independent mental health professional not associated with the court to perform evaluations. In most instances, this is a clinical psychologist in private practice. This individual becomes the expert witness under Evidence Code § 730 to conduct an evaluation of the parties and children and to make recommendations for an appropriate parenting plan. A description of such an evaluation is not included. An expert appointed under Evidence Code § 730 is also subject to the uniform standards of practice for court-ordered child custody evaluations including the requirement that s/he receive and maintain updated training pursuant to the statewide domestic violence training standards for court-appointed child custody investigators and evaluators (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 1257.7).

For more information on Los Angeles Superior Court standards for Independent Evaluators, go to the Los Angeles County Court Rules for Family Law.

For a list of Private Child Custody Evaluators, go to the Private Evaluator List.
Copyright 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles