In all Sacramento child custody actions, the parties are required to attend and complete Sacramento custody mediation before a judge will hear the Sacramento child custody case. In particularly contested or complex Sacramento child custody actions, standard custody mediation may be insufficient to resolve the issues. In these special circumstances, the court can order a 3110 custody evaluation. In Sacramento county family law cases, a 3110 custody evaluation will cost at least $1,500, and often times more. The requesting party will usually be ordered to pay for the cost, subject to the court’s right to later order the other party to reimburse some of the cost. This matter is completely within the court’s discretion.
A 3110 custody evaluation, despite the cost, can be extremely effective in resolving a particularly difficult custody case.
The 3110 custody evaluator will spend a significantly higher amount of time with the parties and children and work to address all of the complicated issues involved in the case. The court usually allocates several months so that the 3110 custody evaluator can take a comprehensive look at the entire case and issue a thorough report. Sometimes the custody evaluator will make home visits to observe each parent’s interaction with the child and gain a greater appreciation for each parent’s relationship with the child.
If the case involves one parent’s request to relocate with the children to another part of California or another state entirely, the 3110 custody evaluator will issue an even more complicated analysis of important legal factors including:
- the parental bond with the children,
- the quality of the parental co-parenting relationship,
- the present timeshare split between the parents,
- the children’s stability and continuity, among other factors.
In all cases the 3110 evaluator will prepare a thorough report and recommendation concerning the parenting plan that is in the children’s best interests. The ultimate decision to adopt the report and recommendations lies with the court. If either party is unhappy with the report’s conclusions, they can still request a trial to try and convince the judge that the 3110 custody evaluator erred and that a different parenting plan should be adopted.
If you are involved in a particularly contested Sacramento child custody case or a Sacramento 3110 custody evaluation, please consider meeting with one of our Sacramento family law attorneys at Miller & Associates. We offer a free half hour consultation and would be happy to meet with you and discuss how we can help you in your case.