Child Custody Recommending Counseling (CCRC)/Mediation
Who are CCR Counselors/Mediators?
CCR Counselors/Mediators are professionals with education and training in child and family development. The key focus for the CCR Counselor/Mediator is to create an atmosphere in which parents can communicate more effectively about future parenting arrangements and to help parents determine what is in the best interest of their child(ren).
How long does the Child Custody Recommending Counseling session take?
Generally, CCR Counseling/Mediation takes approximately two hours depending on the complexity of the case. If the child(ren) need(s) to be interviewed, then additional time will be scheduled to interview the children.
Will my child(ren) be interviewed?
The CCR Counselor has discretion to interview any child involved in a child custody proceeding. Please DO NOT bring your children to the initial mediation session.
How confidential is Mediation?
Ordinarily, Mediation is confidential except as to the parents and their attorneys. Mediation is a voluntary process and can be scheduled without a court order. Mediation will NOT result in a recommendation. Information received during the mediation process may be used in a future recommendation to the court. If serious allegations of child abuse or neglect are raised or suspected, the Mediator is required by law to report possible child abuse to proper authorities.
How confidential is CCRC?
Ordinarily, CCRC is confidential except as to the parents and their attorneys. However, when parents do not reach an agreement, in CCRC, the Court may require the CCR Counselor to prepare a recommendation. If a recommendation is made to the court, information obtained through the CCRC session may be provided to the Court. A copy of the recommendation is also given to the parents and their attorneys. If serious allegations of child abuse or neglect are raised or suspected, the CCR Counselor is required by law to report possible child abuse to proper authorities.
Am I able to speak to the CCR Counselor/Mediator at any time?
No. Generally, the CCR Counselor/Mediator is unable to discuss your case without the other party being present or having knowledge of the conversation. Exceptions include scheduling appointments, addressing domestic violence issues, mandated reporting, investigating conflicts of interest, and addressing complaints. Also, any type of communication given by one parent to the CCR Counselor/Mediator must be given to the other parent and a Family Court Services Proof of Service completed prior to review by the CCR Counselor.
Am I allowed to bring a support person to the session?
Generally, if you have alleged that you are a victim of domestic violence, you will have the opportunity to have a 'support person' attend CCRC/Mediation with you. Generally, the 'support person' can be any individual that the victim chooses, must be 18 years of age or older and cannot be the attorney for either party. A 'support person' is present to provide emotional support to the victim. A 'support person' shall not be present as a legal advisor and shall not give legal advice. Attorneys will NOT be approved as 'support persons' and will be excluded from all CCRC/Mediation sessions. A 'support person' may be asked to leave a CCRC/Mediation session, if their presence is disruptive, acts as an advocate and or the 'support person' is prompting, swaying or influencing the other party.
Can CCRC/Mediation help with financial issues?
No. CCRC/Mediation is for parenting matters. For assistance with financial issues or property issues, you can seek assistance from your attorney or the Family Law Facilitator/Self-Help Attorney, if you are unrepresented.
Can the CCR Counselor/Mediator force the other parent to CCRC/Mediation?
No. The CCR Counselor/Mediator cannot force the other party to participate in CCRC/Mediation. If you have not been contacted to schedule an appointment, please contact Family Court Services at 251-8205. If the other party has not responded, you will need to file a motion with the court to request the orders you were seeking. If you are not represented by an attorney, you can contact the Self Help Attorney at 251-8205 and schedule an appointment to help you complete the necessary forms to put your matter on calendar.
Will I be required to attend an orientation?
Yes. Orientation is a requirement for anyone attending CCRC/Mediation for the first time. Requirements for Orientation are:
- Viewing of the Family Court Services Information Packet and submitting your Certificate of Completion to Family Court Services.
- Watch the AOC Presentation of California Child Custody Mediation: Focus on the Child's Needs AND submit the Certificate of Completion to Family Court Services.