How Custody And Visitation Are Determined
In any family law action, whether it be divorce, legal separation, or paternity, when custody or visitation is in dispute, the matter goes to Court, where the Court provides a qualified mediator to mediate these issues. In Stanislaus & San Joaquin County, attorneys are allowed, unlike in most counties, where attorneys are not allowed to be present during the process. It is the mediator’s role to use his or her best efforts to encourage agreement on these issues in accordance with what the mediator feels is in the best interests of the child or children.
If an agreement is not reached, the mediator will make a recommendation to the Court. At that time, either party may request that the recommendation be made an order of the Court. Either party may also dispute the recommendation and request a long cause hearing. No agreement or recommendation is legally effective between the parties unless it has been made an order of the Court. The mediator may interview the child or children in order to provide a Family Court Services evaluation.
To learn more about custody and visitation in California, please contact the lawyers at Thomas Hogan Law Office.