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Can anyone provide advice for my husband on how to handle mediation when asking for supervised visits?

Elk Grove, CA |

Since July 2012, the NCP has only seen the child once for about half an hour. The current order states NCP has parenting time every other weekend, CP has full physical and legal custody. The child has special needs which are extensively documented. CP has an attorney providing limited scope representation, they filed the RFO asking for agency supervised visits as re-unification and parenting classes for the NCP to learn how to deal with a disabled child. CP knows how important is it to stress the best needs of the child to the court, but the FCS seems very biased towards fathers. He has been to mediation before under similar circumstances (3 months of no contact) and the mediator didn't recommend any change. Does anyone have advice for him on how to handle mediation? Thank you

The attorney has also filed evidence in support of supervised visitations based on psychologist and therapist reports. They will also be submitting an attorny input letter to the mediator prior to the appointment. CP is expecting NCP to be very hostile during mediation since she dose not want anything to do with court. CP tried to work out a stipulation to prevent going back to court, which NCP agreed to, but now refuses to sign and has ceased all contact once again. It is quite clear at this time that she wants to come and go as she pleases in the child's life, which is considered to be deterimental to all the experts involved considering her special needs.

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

The typical process, when custody of a child is involved, requires that one side file a motion with the court. The court then contacts the parties involved and refers the case to mediation. The mediator then looks over the case and makes a recommendation that is referred to the court prior to the hearing to be held on the matter. If either side does not agree with the mediator's recommendation the side opposing the recommendation states so in court and the case is set for a long cause hearing. At this hearing both sides are given an opportunity to present evidence supporting why the mediator's recommendation should or shouldn't be adopted and the court will then decide what to do in light of the arguments presented by both sides.

Based on this process, both sides should vigorously argue their case to the mediator. If the mediator does not agree and submits a recommendation you oppose, ask the court for a hearing.

As far as handling the mediator is concerned, the best idea is to be kind, courteous and honest. Let the mediator know that the NCP is refusing to sign a stipulation previously agreed to.

I hope that this was helpful!

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you for your response! Is a long hearing different from a trial? I do not see how the mediator would be able to side with the NCP in this case considering the length of absence and the special needs that are documented, but my husband feels he is looked down upon since he is a father going against a mother. Would there be any reason why the mediator would not review the facts of the case? Will the mediator have access to previous mediation reports so they can see the pattern of inconsistency on the NCPs part? Thank you again!

Trevor L Hensley

Trevor L Hensley

Posted

A long cause hearing is different from a trial in that it is essentially an evidentiary hearing. The parties will be allowed to present evidence supporting their position to the judge. You should know also that this hearing will only be required if he is unable to convince the judge a the FCS recommendation review hearing. I cannot think of any reason why the mediator would not review the facts of the case. I believe the mediator will have access to previous mediation reports but I am not sure. Please feel free to contact my office at 916-960-1000 if you require any further assistance in this matter.

Posted

San Diego- Each county in California has its own FCS division so procedure will vary. In San Diego I generally refer my client to an professional who will prepare the client for the mediation by helping them focus on the proper issues. Remember what is important is not your feelings or desires, what is important is the best interest of the child. Demonstrate to the FCS employee how you having custody accomplishes that.

You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established

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Posted

I am including a link below which may be of help. Essentially, you need to be able to articulate your concerns to the mediator concisely without disparaging the other parent. Listen to what the other parent says and respond thoughtfully emphasizing why whatever the other parent has suggested will not be in the child's best interest. Good luck.

If you found this answer helpful, let me know by clicking the "Mark as Helpful" button or "Best Answer" at the bottom of this answer. By answering this question, the Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not intend to form an attorney-client relationship with the asking party. The answers posted on this website should not be construed as legal advice. The Law Offices of Cathleen E. Norton does not make any representations about your family law matter, but rather, seeks to provide general information to the public about family-law related matters. You should consult with an attorney to discuss the specific facts of your case. Thank you.

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