Family Court Services
Court Services (FCS) provides mediation in family law cases when
separating or divorcing parents cannot agree on a child custody sharing
Mediation is provided in a private counseling office with a court
counselor. The mediation conference allows both parents to work
together toward a mutually acceptable agreement which is in the best
interest of the children. The mediation session will last approximately
1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours. For additional information, view the Mediation Orientation Presentation and the Parent Handbook.
In any dissolution matter regarding child custody and visitation where there is a dispute, Family Code Section 3170
mandates that the case be set for mediation prior to the court hearing.
If agreement is reached, it is reported to the court (through the
attorneys) and thus the court hearing may be cancelled since the family
made its own decision. If no agreement is reached, a recommendation
will be made by the court counselor and the court hearing will proceed.
FOR IMMEDIATE REFERRAL TO MEDIATION:
- Fill out item 2 on your Request for Order. To access the new Request for Order form, click here.
- After filing your Request for Order packet at the clerk's office in room 17 at the courthouse and after the other party has been served, go immediately to Family Court Services, room 13 (across the hall) or call 530-527-2170 to schedule an appointment.
- You must provide a copy of your Proof of Service to Family Court Services before an appointment can be scheduled.
- Prior to your mediation appointment, you will need to fill out an intake packet.
to your mediation appointment, you must attend Parent Orientation on
any Monday from 3:30 to 4:45 in Department 4. If Monday is a holiday,
no Parent Orientation class will be held that week.
The Purpose of Family Court Services
Consistent with the spirit of California law, the purpose of Family Court Services is to:
families in the settlement of domestic controversies involving the
welfare of children where there is an action in Family Court.
to ensure children get frequent and continuing contact with both
parents after the dissolution of marriage or end of a relationship.
- Encourage parents to cooperate and share the rights and responsibilities of parenting during and following a dissolution.
Legal Terms Relating to Child Custody
Visitation: The designated time in which the non-custodial parent shall have responsibility of the children.
The rights and responsibilities of parents to make decisions relating
to the health, education and welfare of their children.
Joint Legal Custody:
Both parents share in the right and responsibility to make decisions
relating to the health, education and welfare of a child.
Sole Legal Custody: One parent has the right and responsibility to make decisions relating to the health, education and welfare of a child.
Physical Custody: How much time the children spend with each parent; where the children live; how day-to-day responsibilities are fulfilled.
Joint Physical Custody: Children spend a significant amount of time with each parent.
In preparation for mediation, the following links may be helpful:
Family Court Services Flyer – click here
Frequently Asked Questions – click here
PowerPoint Presentation “Mediation Orientation Program” – click here.
Link to Video on “Mediation Orientation Program” – click here.
Parent Handbook – click here.
Intake Forms – forms that must be filled out prior to mediation appointment – click here
Parenting Plan – to assist you in preparation for your mediation appointment – click here
Other Useful Links:
Alternatives to Violence
North Valley Catholic Social Services
Family Law Facilitator
Tehama County Self-Help
Activity Book for Children Who are Going to Court
California Courts Online Self-Help Center