The initial steps taken by disputing parents in a Family Law case usually define the future of their parenting relationship. Improperly advised parents often make statements and take actions which prejudice their legal standing and hurt the family long term.
The immediate goal in any potential parenting dispute is to resolve it privately with the assistance of a neutral mental health care professional specializing in counseling disputed parents. This enables the parents to receive professional input without allowing their personal lives to become public record.
California law requires that all parents in disputed parenting cases to attend mediation with the county family court services agency. The agency assigns a Child Custody Recommending Counselor (“CCRC”) who will likely have direct input to the court about the family if the disputed issues are not settled at the first meeting with the CCRC.
The processes utilized by the CCRC’s and Family Law courts are constantly evolving. Amendments to the Family Code, appellate court rulings and local trends change in important areas:
Certain types of parenting disputes are particularly difficult to resolve without court trials. As an example, when one parent relocates to another county, state or country, determining how to share the parenting time without affecting the family is complicated. Parenting disputes arising from alleged drug or alcohol abuse, domestic violence or mental disorders may require emergency court orders, child protective services or law enforcement intervention.