Child Custody Mediation
It is our policy to meet with our clients prior to their first mediation session to help them understand the process and to prepare them to better present their position to the mediator.
- What is Mediation?
Before a Court can make child custody or visitation orders, all parties must attend mediation with Family Court Services prior to the hearing. There is no charge for this service. A mediator will meet with both parents to help negotiate a parenting plan that is in the best interests of the children.
A mediator is a trained professional assigned to help parents discuss their child’s needs and help the parents develop a parenting plan.
- How Do I Schedule a Mediation Appointment?
After a Request for Order for custody and/or visitation orders is filed, both parties must do one of the following to schedule a mediation appointment:
- Schedule an appointment online at https://apps2.alameda.courts.ca.gov/fcs/; OR
- Call Family Dispute Resolution Services at (510) 690-2500; OR
- Complete the Child Custody Recommending Counseling Request Form and return it to Family Court Services by
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or
- Fax: (510) 783-4297; or
- Mail or Hand-deliver:
- County Administration Building
- 224 West Winton, Room 208
- Hayward, California 94544
(Note: The Child Custody Recommending Counseling Request Form is available at the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, at the address listed below, or in the Family Law Courtrooms)
When you call be sure to have your case number and hearing date readily available. You will also be scheduled for an Orientation appointment.
- How Do I Prepare for Mediation?
Alameda County is a “Recommending” county, which means the mediator makes recommendations to the Court for a parenting plan if the parents are unable to agree. You and your attorney will have reviewed the recommendation before the Hearing and can argue against the recommendation. After making an Order, the Judge will normally set the matter for further review several months out and a further mediation session will occur before that hearing.