Our Services Child Custody Evaluations - 730 evaluation Pursuant to Family Code 3110, 3111-3118 Per California Rules of Court - Rule 5.225 (1)A "child custody evaluator" is a court-appointed investigator as defined in Family Code section 3110. (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 conducted under Family Code sections 3111 and 3118, Evidence Code section 730, or Code of Civil Procedure section 2032.010 et seq. (3)A "full evaluation, investigation, or assessment" is a child custody evaluation that is a comprehensive examination of the health, safety, welfare, and best interest of the child. (4)A "partial evaluation, investigation, or assessment" is a child custody evaluation that is limited by the court in terms of its scope. (5)The terms "evaluation," "investigation," and "assessment" are synonymous. (6)"Best interest of the child" is described in Family Code section 3011. (7)A "court-connected evaluator" is a superior court employee or a person under contract with a superior court who conducts child custody evaluations. When the best interest of the child is in question, it is likely that a Judge would request a 730 Evaluation. Custody and visitation orders are often based on the findings of these evaluations, which could be ordered for a number of reasons, including: • One parent wishes to move out of state and the other parent objects. • Questionable parenting practices that could have a negative impact on a child. • The parents are unable to agree on the custodial arrangements. • Concerns/Potential of child abuse. • Substance abuse issues. • Mental health problems or concerns. DISCLAIMER REGARDING CONFIDENTIALITY: Since an evaluation is not psychotherapy, there is no psychotherapist- client privilege and the rules for protecting your confidentiality in healthcare and mental healthcare settings do not apply. The report and file in this case are “sealed court documents” only to be used in this family law case, according to the stipulation that you sign. This means that the report will not be provided to anyone except the court and the attorneys of record (or to you directly if you represent yourself). No one else should have access to the report or to the file except by court order. Children should not see the report.
Brief Focused Assessments-
A cost efficient, narrowly defined, focused assessment pursuant to Family Code 3110-3118 In some family law cases there are issues, limited in scope, that do not require a comprehensive child custody evaluation to assist the court in decision-making. A Brief Focused Assessment addresses specific, narrowly defined referral questions, identified by a judicial officer in a court order. The Brief Focused Assessment can be an efficient and effective tool to assist judicial decision-making in cases where a full child custody evaluation is not needed.
These evaluations can be completed in less time than a full child custody evaluation, so the information is available to the court more quickly, avoiding some of the delays in the resolution of issues than can exacerbate tension in families. They also cost less than a full evaluation, depending upon the issues being examined.
In a Brief Focused Assessment, an evaluator conducts interviews with parents and children, as well observes parent-child interactions when needed. The evaluator typically reviews relevant records and conducts telephone interviews with collateral contacts, such as therapists, teachers, or other professionals who have worked with the family. In some instances, psychological testing may be utilized and referred out.
In order to conduct a Brief Focused Assessment there must be a well-defined referral question from the court, as well as a court order that specifically designates Nicol Stolar-Peterson, LCSW, BCD to conduct the assessment.
THERAPY/COUNSELING Therapy clients are accepted on a case by case basis. Hourly fee is $200. SC&C does not accept insurance and is cash pay only. Disclaimer regarding therapy: Please be advised that though Nicol Stolar-Peterson, LCSW, BCD, is a child custody evaluator, when working within the scope of a therapist role, she will NOT be making a custody recommendation.
(all services occur in our office in Murrieta, CA)
For your convenience the most current list of evaluators in Riverside County are linked below. This is by no way an endorsement of the evaluators on either list.