Family Court Services
Family Court Services works with both parents in child custody mediation cases.
Family Court Services (FCS) provides Child Custody Recommending Counseling/Mediation in family law cases when separating or divorcing parents cannot agree on a shared plan for child custody. Child Custody Recommending Counseling (Mediation) is provided in a private appointment with a specially trained professional to assist with custody issues. The meeting allows both parents to work together toward a mutually acceptable agreement which is in the best interest of the children. Child custody mediation gives parents a chance to resolve disagreements about a parenting plan for their children.
If the parents are able to work out an agreement, the mediator helps the parents write a parenting plan that may then become a custody and visitation order if it is signed by a judge. In this court, this service is called "child custody recommending counseling" because the mediator (called a "child custody recommending counselor") can give a written recommendation to the parents and the court if the parents cannot agree to a parenting plan.
The goals of mediation are to:
Help you make a parenting plan that is in the best interest of your children.
Help you make a parenting plan that lets your children spend time with both parents.
Help you learn ways to deal with anger or resentment.
You must contact Family Court Services for an appointment as soon as you receive notice to do so. This office is only open for a limited number of hours each week. The phone number to schedule an appointment is (530) 623-1404.
COVID-19 Modifications for Appointments:
Due to social distancing requirements, all appointments with the CCRC will be completed by video conference or telephone call. For further information please refer to the link below.
The Child Custody Recommending Counseling (Mediation) session will last approximately 1 to 2 hours. Prior to the CCRC session you will be asked to fill out an intake form and the release of information form. PLEASE ALSO REVIEW THE FCS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROCEDURES link. If you believe the form on this link applies to your situation, fill the form out and submit it with your intake and release of information forms.
CCRC (Mediation) Orientation:
Rule 5.210 of the California Rules of Court requires that the Court provide an orientation to inform the parents about the mediation process, the role of the CCRC, how to address the developmental needs of children, limitations on confidentiality and other child custody issues. The following video describes the mediation and child custody recommending counseling court process, provides helpful information about parenting plans, and offers tips on how parents can reduce conflict and help their children adjust to the changes happening in their family.
- Child Custody Recommending Counseling Orientation Video
- Please also read the Positive Parenting Handbook for further information.
What if There Has Been Violence Between the Parents?
Family Court Services Domestic Violence Procedures
Separate sessions are provided upon request if domestic violence has occurred. Mediators may also initiate separate sessions if there is an appearance of intimidation. Victims of domestic violence may wish to have an advocate accompany them to their mediation appointment. All Child Custody Recommending Counselors receive training to meet state standards for working with families who have experienced domestic violence.