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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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.
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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.
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