In all Placer County child custody actions, the parties are required to attend and complete Placer County custody mediation before a custody judge will hear the child custody case. In particularly contested or complex Placer County child custody disputes, standard Family Court Services custody mediation may be insufficient to resolve the dispute. Some examples of more complex cases include: usually hostile parties, the children are potentially victims of parental alienation by one or both parents, or one of the parents has alleged the other is neglecting the children. In these special circumstances, the court can order a 3110 custody evaluation.
In Placer County family law cases, a 3110 custody evaluation will cost approximately $1,500. 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 based upon a comparison of both parties’ incomes. Any reimbursement is completely within the Placer County court’s discretion which means parties should not bank on reimbursement.
A 3110 custody evaluation, despite the cost, can be an extremely effective custody resolution method. The 3110 custody evaluator will spend a significantly greater amount of time with the parties and children and work to address all of the complicated issues that are dividing the parties. The court usually allocates several months so that the 3110 custody evaluator can take a comprehensive look at the entire case and have more time to help the parties reach an agreeable resolution or issue a thorough recommendation. Sometimes the Placer County 3110 custody evaluator will make home visits to observe each parent’s interaction with the child and gain a greater understanding of each parent’s relationship with the children.
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 Placer County custody court. If either party is unhappy with the report’s conclusions, they can still request a custody 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 Placer County child custody case or a Placer County 3110 custody evaluation, please consider meeting with one of our Placer County 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.