In particularly contested or complex Sacramento child custody actions, standard family court services custody mediation may be insufficient to resolve the contested issues.  In these special circumstances, the court can order a 3110/3111 custody evaluation.  In Sacramento county family law cases, a 3110/3111 custody evaluation will cost anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 and possibly even more.  The cost comes from having to pay the private mediator handling the evaluation.  The court typically requires the requesting party to advance the cost, subject to the court’s right to later reallocate the cost reimbursement.  The court may or may not do this.

A Sacramento 3110/3111 custody evaluation, even though expensive, can be helpful in addressing difficult custody cases.  Compared to Sacramento family court services mediation, the 3110/3111 custody evaluator will spend a significantly higher amount of time with the parties and children.  The 3110/3111 custody evaluator will spend this extra time working to each of the custody issues involved in the case.  This process may take weeks or even months to complete, but a much more thorough job can be done.  In some cases 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.   In cases where one parent wants to move the child away to another area, the 3110/3111 process will be even more complicated so that a decision reflecting the children’s best interests is reached.

In all cases the Sacramento 3110/3111 evaluator will prepare a thorough recommendation that contains their analysis of the children’s best interests.  The court does retain ultimate decision making power concerning the adoption of any of the reports.  If either party is unhappy with the report’s conclusions, they can still request a trial to challenge the report.

If you are involved in a particularly contested Sacramento child custody case or a Sacramento 3110/3111 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.