If you are involved in a child custody dispute in Ventura County, you will likely be ordered to attend mediation. The Ventura County child custody mediation process can be confusing and often times, parties feel as though they must come to an agreement in mediation. An experienced Ventura County child custody attorney can help you understand the mediation process, which may result in a more favorable outcome in your case. The Ventura child custody attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have the knowledge and experience necessary to guide you through every step of the child custody process, including court-ordered mediation.
Setting Your Ventura County Child Custody Case for Mediation (California Family Code Section 3170)
Under California Family Code Section 3170, any time there is a dispute as to child custody, the family law courts shall set the disputed matter for mediation. This type of mediation generally involves both parties scheduling a time to sit down with a neutral court mediator to try to work out their differences and come to an agreement regarding child custody.
In most Southern California counties, attorneys are not allowed to be present during the mediation process. However, it is important to have the assistance of an experienced child custody attorney in order to guide you through the mediation process and help you understand what to expect in mediation.
Recommending vs Non-Recommending Counties
The mediation process differs from county to county. Therefore, you should not go forward with court ordered mediation, without the guidance of an experienced child custody attorney who is familiar with the practices of the county in which your case is located.
In California, there are two types of court ordered mediation when it comes to child custody: Recommending Counties and Non-Recommending Counties.
In “Recommending” counties, if the parties cannot come to an agreement regarding child custody, the court-appointed mediator will make recommendations to the judge to indicate what the mediator believes to be the best custodial situation for the children. It is important to remember that when making child custody and visitation determinations, both the judge and the mediator are trying to come up with the solution that they believe is in your child’s best interest. Once the mediator makes recommendations to the judge, the judge will typically make court orders that follow the mediator’s recommendations.
In “Non-Recommending” counties, the mediation process is often a confidential process whereby the mediator’s sole purpose is to try to help the parties reach a settlement. In non-recommending counties, the mediator does not make any recommendation to the court as to any legal issues. In these counties, the mediator generally cannot be called to testify as a witness, unless during the mediation process a danger to the child was established. Thus, in “non-recommending” counties, the mediators are generally less influential in assisting the court in making child custody orders.
Ventura County Child Custody Mediation (Ventura County Local Rule of Court 9.30-9.33)
Ventura County is a “recommending” county. Therefore, if you have a child custody case in Ventura County, you will be ordered to attend Ventura County child custody mediation. If you cannot reach an agreement with the other parent of your child, the mediator will make recommendations regarding child custody ordered to the judge. In most cases, the judge will typically make court orders that follow the mediator’s recommendations.
The process of court-ordered mediation in Ventura County is slightly different from other counties. In Ventura County, if you have an attorney, your attorney must be present at the mediation for the last half-hour of the session. The purpose of having the attorney present is to ensure that the Ventura County child custody mediation process has been performed properly and to provide input to the mediator. The mediation will use the attorney’s input in making recommendations to the judge. Thus, it is imperative that you have an experienced Ventura County child custody attorney to assist you with the mediation process.
Call the Ventura County Child Custody Attorneys at Wallin & Klarich
If you are involved in a child custody or family law case in Ventura, it is important that you seek out the representation of an experienced child custody attorney. Our child custody attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling cases in both “recommending” and “non-recommending” counties.
With offices located in Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, West Covina, Victorville, and Ventura, we are always available, wherever you happen to live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428. We will be there when you call.