Family Court Providers

BAPA maintains a list of Family Court Providers who provide a variety of family court related services, including: custody evaluations, assessments, and counseling for families and children in separating or divorcing families.

BAPA does not evaluate Providers or independently verify the information on this list (please see our Disclaimer below).

If you are unsure what a specific specialty or type of evaluation involves, please see the Speciality Definitions list below.

If you are a BAPA member, and you are interested in being added to this list, please email us at admin@bapapsych.org.

Young couple with a child in a room consulting with a therapist. Young mom is holding her son and a toy for him to play with.

Specialty Definitions

BRIEF FOCUSED ASSESSMENT (BFA) is a Court Ordered assessment of narrowly defined issue-specific questions which arise in Family Court settings. A BFA best addresses questions that are well defined, narrow in scope, and require some clinical judgment, e.g., to what extent is a child’s expression of preference based on developmentally appropriate reasoning; is supervised visitation needed to protect a child’s safety or well-being while with a parent, in light of some aspect of the parent/child relationship; whether and under what conditions to reunite long-absent parent and child(ren) Santa Clara County requires the completion of: Attachment FM-1057 (Addendum to Judicial Council Form FL327 Private Evaluator) and Attachment FM-1127 (Addendum to Judicial Council Form FL-327 Brief Focused Assessment). Providers must meet the requirements of Rule of Court 5.230 regarding domestic violence training. Providers must meet the requirements for completion of FL-326, Declaration of Court-Connected Child Custody Evaluator Regarding Qualifications.

COMPREHENSIVE CUSTODY EVALUATION (also known as a Section 730 Evaluation) is a comprehensive forensic investigation ordered by the court, whereby the investigator/mental health professional assists parents and the court in determining a parenting or child sharing plan which is in the children’s best interests. In Santa Clara County, in addition to FL-327, it requires the completion of Attachment FM-1057 (Addendum to Judicial Council Form FL-327 Private Evaluator). Providers must meet the requirements of Rule of Court 5.230 regarding domestic violence training. Providers must meet the requirements for completion of FL-326, Declaration of Court-Connected Child Custody Evaluator Regarding Qualifications.

CO-PARENT COUNSELING is confidential unless there is a Court Order or stipulation to the contrary. Co-Parenting counseling is used as one type of referral designed to support parents in the articulation and development of their new relationship as co-parents. It is goal oriented and the content of discussion is driven by the articulated needs of the parties. Guidelines for Court-Involved Therapy were published by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) in 2010.

EMERGENCY SCREENING WITH TEMPORARY CUSTODY / VISITATION RECOMMENDATIONS requires a formal stipulation and court order. Typically, it involves a minimum of three hours to interview the parents alone and conjointly. The interviews may take place over several days. Under certain circumstances children will be involved. Collateral contacts take place as appropriate. The goal is to understand the current circumstances and assess the current claims and concerns. The result is a brief report or statement of decision with recommendations that the parties may stipulate to pending a court hearing, custody evaluation or other disposition.

MEDIATION (“family mediation” or “mediation”) is a process in which a mediator, an impartial third party, facilitates the resolution of family disputes by promoting the participants’ voluntary agreement.

PARENTING COORDINATION is a voluntary, non-confidential, non-adversarial dispute resolution process utilized by divorced and/or separated parents who have demonstrated an ongoing pattern of high conflict and/or litigation about their children. Providers must meet the requirements of Rule of Court 5.230 regarding domestic violence training. Providers must also be compliant with training standards established by AFCC Guidelines for Parenting Coordination 2019 (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts), with specific advanced training in: (1) the Parenting Coordination Process, (2) Family Dynamics in Separation and Divorce, (3) Parenting Coordination Techniques and Issues and (4) Court Specific Parenting Coordination Procedures.

PSYCHOLOGICAL TEST EVALUATION involves administration of a standard psychological test battery (with both objective and subjective tests) and clinical interview. This evaluation stands on its own without custody recommendations. A judge may request such an evaluation to provide feedback regarding an individual’s psychological adjustment or it is done to assist a mental health professional who is doing a custody evaluation. The results focus on the individual’s current emotional functioning. If appropriate, comments regarding the ability to parent are offered.

RECONNECTION THERAPY, conducted under the guidance of a licensed mental health professional, is a non-confidential therapeutic process whereby the parent who has been separated from and/or rejected by their child(ren), is “reconnected” with the child(ren), to the fullest extent possible. This process would apply to families in which there has been limited or no contact between parent and child(ren). For the therapeutic process to be effective, both parents need to participate, at the discretion of the therapist. Guidelines for Court-Involved Therapy were published by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) in 2010.

SUPERVISED VISITATION provides for an ongoing relationship between a noncustodial parent and a child(ren) in the presence of a neutral third party. It is a non-confidential intervention that requires either a stipulation between the parents or a court order. Some professional supervised visitation providers also transport children to and from the visits. Professional supervised visitation providers must meet specific eligibility and training requirements set forth in Rule of Court 5.20.

THERAPEUTIC SUPERVISED VISITATION (TSV) is a type of supervised visitation in which the profession provider has additional therapeutic skills to intervene in problematic parent-child dynamics. It is intended to be a short-term intervention, unlike reconnection therapy which is often meant to address more significant disruption in the family dynamics. It is a non-confidential intervention that requires either a stipulation between the parents or a court order. Therapeutic Supervised Visitation Providers must meet the same eligibility and training requirements as for other professional supervised visitation providers set forth in Rule of Court 5.20. However, Rule of Court 5.20does not recognize TSV as a separate service and therefore does not provide guidance on the additional therapeutic training and experience requirements for this role. Most providers of therapeutic supervised visitation are licensed mental health professionals who are qualified to serve as a Court-Involved Therapist. Guidelines for Court-Involved Therapists were published by the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC) in 2010.

Mental Health Professionals Providing Services in Family Court Matters Disclaimer

The Bay Area Psychological Association and its Forensic Committee (collectively, the “BAPA”), maintain the following list of mental health providers (“Providers”) who have indicated that they provide a variety of family court related services including custody evaluations, assessments, and counseling for families and children in separating or divorcing families. The list is provided as a community service for directory information purposes only. The BAPA relies on the accuracy of each Provider’s self-report. The BAPA does not evaluate Providers or independently verify the information on this list. The list is not intended to be exhaustive. There may be Providers who are not yet reflected on the list, and Providers who are no longer providing services who may yet be removed.

Inclusion of a provider on this list does not necessarily mean that they are suitable for appointment by the court in an individual matter.

Inclusion of a Provider shall not be construed as a recommendation or endorsement of the Provider by the BAPA or any of its committees or members, or by any court, professional board or association. The BAPA has no responsibility for the training, education, or competence of a Provider and makes no representations or warranties regarding their suitability. Litigants, attorneys, and all other potential consumers assume the risk and are solely responsible for interviewing and selecting a suitable Provider, evaluating their qualifications, and independently verifying the Provider information reflected on this list.

By accessing this list, you agree to hold the BAPA harmless and assume all potential liability arising from your selection of a Provider and an act or omission of the Provider in providing the services. Any complaints regarding a Provider or their services should be directed to the Provider.