Preparation of Clients for Mediation

The philosophy of the State Legislature and our courts in child custody issues supports the notion that children benefit from a continuous relationship with both parents.

The goals of Family Court Services/Conciliation Court are as follows:

  1. Allowing the family to make its own decision(s) regarding child custody
  2. Protecting the child's right to a continuous relationship with both parents.

Our firm's preparation of our client for mediation will be as follows:

  1. Understanding of California Child Custody Laws related to children's rights to a continuous relationship with both parents.
  2. Court's authority to award custody to the parent most likely to share.
  3. Definitions of legal custody and physical custody.
  4. Client should be prepared to discuss medical, dental and educational needs of children. (It is sometimes embarrassing to a client when the other parent knows all of the child's grades, school teachers, shot records, medication, little league coaches, game schedules, and the other parent knows nothing).
  5. Client should be prepared to discuss child's activities; i.e., church, temple, dance practice, et cetera, and be prepared to participate in carpool scheduling, etc.
  6. The parents should be prepared to zero in on the child's welfare rather than his or her own rights and needs.
  7. Fear, anger, grief and other emotions are natural feelings of the client going through dissolution. The Family Counseling Services counselors will accept these feelings and never put a client down for being a human being.
  8. In cases of domestic violence and child abuse, the parents will be asked to identify issues in advance to enable appropriate preparation by the counselor.
  9. If a client is passive and afraid of forgetting important child-centered issues, you can carry a diary or 3x5 index card with the important points listed. The court counselor will try to balance the power between the parties to see that each gives his or her input.
  10. The court counselors are professionals trained in family systems approach to marriage, divorce and child custody issues. It is important that you have confidence the system that will assist you in settling your child custody disputes. Avoiding a court battles regarding the children will do more for the mental health of the children and parents than almost anything.
  11. The key to success in child custody plans is not the plan itself, but the child's feeling that "I can love both of my parents without feeling guilty." During this process, please give your children the emotional permission to have a relationship with each parent without feeling guilty.

Contact Us

The choice of legal representation when filing for divorce or trying to resolve a family dispute is important to you and your children and should not be made lightly. Please review the information on our website, consider our qualifications, and then contact the San Diego law offices of divorce lawyer Marilyn Bierer today for a case evaluation and review of your legal rights. Because of the serious and complex nature of family law matters, our attorneys must meet with you in person before we can provide any legal advice concerning your family law issue.