What is a 604B evaluation?
A 604B evaluation is when a judge asks a professional to help the judge decide in a custody case. The person is usually a mental health professional. They are asked to investigate the case and write a report on their opinion.
This goes beyond what a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) does because it often involves psychological testing. It also involves spending time with the parents and getting to know them. The 604B evaluator could also interview other family members, teachers, or other people involved in the child’s life.
604B evaluations can be costly and lengthy. The judge can order one or both parties to pay for it.
Working with the evaluator
The evaluator is not on one parent's side over the other. Approach the evaluation and the evaluator with an open and honest mindset. It will help the evaluation be more thorough and objective.
After the evaluation, the evaluator submits a report to the judge with their opinion. The judge does not have to do what the evaluator suggests. But they do have to consider it.
Updated: October 2017