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Family Law Blog

Conciliation Court for Child Custody Mediation

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Sometimes when two parents decide to separate or divorce and there are children in the relationship, the parents will go to conciliatory court for child custody mediation. If there is a custody dispute, mediation will be mandatory. Even if the two parents are not disputing custody, mediation can be a great way to work out the issues of custody and do what is best for the child(ren) in each situation.

You do not need to be nervous about attending conciliation court. It might help, however, if you have an idea of what to expect before you attend. First, you need to set up an appointment with the court. Appointments are typically scheduled in the courthouse where the hearing will be held. In some counties of California, it can also be held in other Conciliation Court Offices so you might call around if you are looking for a shorter wait on an appointment.

When you arrive at Court, both parties will be asked to sign in and complete an information form. If you do not want to feel rushed filling it out, you can request the form in advance and bring it with you already filled out. The mediator will review your form to gain information about the family before sitting to talk with you.

Initially, both parties will be told the rules of mediation. Be sure you listen and ask questions if you need clarification. Breaking the rules of mediation could affect your child custody decisions. The mediator may meet with both parties together, meet with you individually, or both at different times.

The mediator will ask questions to gain more insight and understanding of the family and the needs of the children. The mediator will also share information with both parties about the needs of the children, to include developmental and emotional needs, and more. You will also discuss things like holidays, school, transportation and other important needs and schedules of the child.

As the final task of mediation, you will discuss the potential options and the best resolution for the children. The goal is to be able to walk away from conciliation court with a custody agreement all parties can agree upon.

If you'd like to learn more about child custody mediation, conciliation court in California, or other family law matters, contact us today.