Child Custody Evaluations - Focused or Full

As attorneys in Los Angeles County we have seen Child Custody Evaluations evolve. As they have become more commonplace, due to the allegations by alienating parents of child abuse and sexual molesting, courts such as the Los Angeles Superior Court are focusing their court orders to be more issue specific in an effort to reduce costs.

The traditional child custody evaluation is a Full Child Custody Evaluation and that involves home visits, meeting and/or interviewing collateral people such as grandparents, aunts and uncles. This is a costly and time consuming process that can take up to a year to complete but usually takes only a few months. Our cases in Los Angeles County and Orange County have generally taken about 4-6 months with us as the lawyers keeping the child custody evaluation on track. Often times the alienating parent tries to stall the process as much as possible.

The Focused child custody evaluation is generally ordered when there are limited funds or a clear situation that the court needs additional information on. In Los Angeles County the courts can order a Solution Focused Evaluation when they need a “down and dirty” analysis of what is going on. This utilizes the social workers of the county to interview the parties in the morning session of court and then there is a hearing in the afternoon. We generally prefer that a private evaluator be appointed who can take more time and care.


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