SB 435

  • California Senate Bill
  • 2019-2020 Regular Session
  • Introduced in Senate Feb 21, 2019
  • Senate
  • Assembly
  • Governor

Family law: evidence.

Bill Subjects

Family Law: Evidence.


Existing law establishes a hearsay rule that evidence of a statement that was made other than by a witness while testifying at the hearing and that is offered to prove the truth of the matter stated is inadmissible, except as specified. This bill would allow a party in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation to rely on hearsay evidence in establishing the character and value of separate and community property in certain circumstances, including when a hearsay statement is relied upon by an expert in forming the expert's opinion if the hearsay statement is of the type routinely relied upon by the expert and the statement has been evaluated by the expert and determined to be trustworthy. Existing law authorizes the court, in a contested proceeding involving child custody or visitation rights, to appoint a child custody evaluator to conduct a child custody evaluation in cases in which the court determines it is in the best interests of the child. Existing law requires the Judicial Council to adopt standards for full and partial court-connected evaluations, investigations, and assessments related to child custody. This bill would require the Judicial Council, by January 1, 2021, to include within those standards, standards for recommendations made by private child custody recommending counseling (CCRC) professionals appointed by the court to make recommendations relating to child custody and visitation rights. Under the bill, a report based on a court-ordered evaluation, private CCRC recommendation, investigation, or assessment prepared in compliance with those standards and any hearsay evidence contained in the report, would be admissible in court and constitute competent evidence if the report is provided to the court and to all parties or their counsel at least 10 days prior to the custody hearing. The bill would require the Judicial Council, on or before January 1, 2021, to promulgate a statewide rule of court requiring a person conducting an evaluation, investigation, or assessment in a child custody case to make and maintain a detailed record of all interviews conducted during the evaluation, investigation, or assessment process and to maintain the interview records until the case is resolved by final order. Existing law requires the child custody evaluator to file a written confidential report of their evaluation with the court and allows the report to be received in evidence on stipulation of the parties. This bill would allow the report to be received in evidence without regard to the stipulation of the parties. Existing law requires the Judicial Council to establish judicial training programs for individuals who perform duties in domestic violence matters. This bill would require the Judicial Council to promulgate a rule of court requiring training for individuals who conduct court evaluations, investigations, and assessments in child custody cases, as specified.

Bill Sponsors (1)



Feb 03, 2020


Returned to Secretary of Senate pursuant to Joint Rule 56.

Apr 23, 2019


April 23 set for first hearing. Failed passage in committee. (Ayes 2. Noes 6. Page 798.) Reconsideration granted.

Apr 11, 2019


From committee with author's amendments. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Com. on JUD.

  • Reading-1
  • Reading-2
  • Amendment-Passage
  • Committee-Passage
  • Referral-Committee
Com. on JUD.

Apr 03, 2019


Set for hearing April 23.

Mar 07, 2019


Referred to Com. on JUD.

  • Referral-Committee
Com. on JUD.

Feb 22, 2019


From printer. May be acted upon on or after March 24.

Feb 21, 2019


Introduced. Read first time. To Com. on RLS. for assignment. To print.

Bill Text

Bill Text Versions Format
02/21/19 - Introduced PDF
04/11/19 - Amended Senate PDF

Related Documents

Document Format
No related documents.


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