Understanding the Role of Mediation in Child Custody
If you file a child custody action in Santa Barbara, the court will order mediation.
Mediation is a process whereby a court mediator attempts to resolve conflicts between parties outside of a courtroom setting. California law requires parties in a child custody case to participate in mediation. Court mediators oversee the process, facilitate a dialogue between the parents, and diffuse potentially volatile interaction. The goal is to provide a neutral environment where parents can amicably develop a parenting plan for their child after divorce or separation.
Child custody mediation lawyer Glenn L. Robertson is a Certified as a Specialist in Family Law by the California Board of Legal Specialization who represents clients in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties in all types of family law matters. While he cannot advocate on your behalf in the mediation itself, he prepares you for the process and represents you when formulating a parenting plan.
Informal vs. formal mediation
There are two types of family law mediations: informal and formal. Informal mediation helps the couple resolve issues of custody and visitation before they file a child custody case. There is no cost to schedule an appointment with a mediator for informal child custody mediation. Although this type of mediation is informal, you need a qualified child custody mediation attorney like Glenn L. Robertson to counsel you through the process and protect your interests.
The formal mediation process originates when one party files a request for a hearing or an "Order to Show Cause" regarding a child custody matter. Before proceeding with any hearing, the parties must attend mediation. Child custody mediators are skilled professionals and must have a master's degree in counseling, social work or a related field and at least two years' experience in their fields. The mediator's role is not to give advice; it is to facilitate the interaction between the parties. Child custody mediation is a confidential process conducted outside of court and without the presence of attorneys.
The role of formal child custody mediation is to help the couple put aside their differences and develop a parenting plan that best serves the interest of the child. The parenting plan includes decisions about physical and legal custody and visitation. In some counties if the parties cannot reach an agreement during mediation, the mediator makes a recommendation to the judge. In Santa Barbara County, if the parties cannot reach an agreement during formal mediation, the court may order a family custody evaluation.
We can help you prepare for your mediation
Contact certified family law specialist Glenn L. Robertson online or at his Santa Barbara office at 805-963-3535 for a consultation. Serving Santa Maria, Lompoc, Ventura, Summerland, Carpinteria and surrounding communities, Mr. Robertson is available for weekend and evening appointments upon request.