Today I would love to discuss the “730 Evaluation,” aka as “hold your bloomers, there comes a wind.” A 730 evaluation is when you jump into the murky waters of what we call family law courts. The “730” is only one of those surprises that will almost bankrupt you with silliness. It is pretty much an evaluation to help the court determine the relative allocation of decision-making authority and physical contact each parent will have with the child. The courts usually apply a “what is in the best interest of the child“ standard in determining this restructuring of rights and responsibilities. This is going to be taking place for one or two reasons: the first is that you and your former “love” hate each other and are trying to use the kids as tools to hurt one another (also neither of you are smart enough to read the writing on the wall and are being stupid in public). The other is that some psychologist is a weapon one side is hoping to hit the other with and sometimes this can come from the court also…in the form of a recommendation!
These psychologists will pick your wallets and savings like a hungry vulture looking down on a person who is trying to cross the desert with a cup of water…my opinion only. However, not one, not two but several divorce lawyers that I know and a few that I respect used an interesting word when describing “730 evaluations” and that word is CORRUPT!!! And a couple went so far to say that good judges often throw out these high paid assassins recommendations all together. How deep does the corruption go? I am not sure, but having an agenda to get over on one side or the other is always an interesting position to take…smell the money? SCAM was another word used by one of Beverly Hills’ highly respected lawyers in reference to these high paid gunslingers with “crooked sights.” I need to stop or I will keep moving in this vein and miss my point…hmmm, I am wondering would that make me a good “730 evaluator?” Another lawyer told me that in ancient times these psychologists would have worn black hoods and carried big axes!
“Collaterals” will kill you in one of these evaluations also, I have seen people who were deemed to be total nut jobs, yet were given a box to spout off all kinds of evil stuff about a client. And the Psychologist gave her a great deal of credibility, why not? They billed several thousands of dollars on the crazy one’s ramblings. These collaterals can be people who hate you and love the other side, what they have to say will be brought forward and in many cases used against you…what? I swear a Kangaroo just jumped past my screen. Remember that term people, COLLATERALS…more dangerous than a venomous snake and some PhD will listen to them and report what they say to the judge in the form of the “evaluation.”
These interviews will kill you, 60-80 pages of bullshit for the most part, everyone having an agenda and so much “she said he said” crap and you will pay for all of it.
That is also part of the game, one side says something about this or that and then BAM! More reports come pouring in and the bill gets even bigger than you ever thought possible. You will swear when you see the “professional statements” that they bill by the individual letter, the fees for these people are outrageous and you, my divorcing couple, will have to bear the costs and they will be in the thousands of dollars.
I found this statement during my research: “Psychologists provide an important service to children, objective, impartial information in assessing he best interests of the child. by demonstrating a clear sense of direction and purpose in conducting a child custody evaluation; by performing their roles ethically; and by clarifying to all involved the nature and scope of the evaluation” I need to go and check my source for this to see if they are not writers for Jay Leno. From what I know these people will do the bidding for whoever is paying the most, and folks, if you have done this, you know from what I speak. They also provide a “flare” while looking for gas fumes!
Further sources state, “Psychology is in a position to make significant contributions to child custody decisions.” That is perhaps true, as well as make a significant contribution to their bank accounts along the way…and for people in the throes of divorce, you folks have to look like sheep coming for a shearing (I was a cop in the Central Valley of California and those sheepherders could take the wool clean off those dam sheep).
Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings
I. Orienting Guidelines: Purpose of a Child Custody Evaluation
1. The primary pu rpose of the evaluation is to assess the best psychological interests of the child.
The primary consideration in a child custody evaluation is to assess the individual and family factors that affect the best psychological interests of the child. More specific questions may be raised by the court.
2. The child’s interests and well-being are paramount.
In a child custody evaluation, the child’s interests and well-being are paramount. Parents competing for custody, as well as others, may have legitimate concerns, but the child’s best interests must prevail. The focus of the evaluation is on parenting capacity, the psychological and developmental needs of the child, and the resulting fit.
John’s thoughts: All was fine with the kids, it was the parents who got sick of each other and now complete strangers with “degrees” are going to figure out what is best for you and your kids….this is INSANE! And much of what they report is ridiculous if you actually know about the situation. Remember, “hired guns”…
8. The scope of the evaluation is determined by the evaluator, based on the nature of the referral question.
“The scope of the custody-related evaluation is determined by the nature of the question or issue raised by the referring person or the court, or is inherent in the situation. Although comprehensive child custody evaluations generally require an evaluation of all parents or guardians and children, as well as observations of interactions between them, the scope of the assessment in a particular case may be limited to evaluating the parental capacity of one parent without attempting to compare the parents or to make recommendations. Likewise, the scope may be limited to evaluating the child. Or a psychologist may be asked to critique the assumptions and methodology of the assessment of another mental health professional. A psychologist also might serve as an expert witness in the area of child development, providing expertise to the court without relating it specifically to the parties involved in a case.”
I am sitting in a very very nice part of Los Angeles as I write this and when I read this paragraph I was stung by the smell of “pig crap.” Oh what the hell, let’s take the family dog and hamster too and get them evaluated….who the hell can be evaluated and why? A lie detector has more credibility than most of the “evaluators,” as someone else comes in on another day and comes up with a whole different set of facts…ever heard the expression, “money talks”?
More to come on 730 Evaluations