Family Court Services
San Diego Child Custody & Visitation Attorney
Family Court Services, or FCS, is a program through the Superior Court which provides free mediation services to parents who are going through a divorce or legal separation. The mediation is designed to assist the parents in developing a plan for how they will share and divide their parenting responsibilities. The mediation service is extremely valuable to family law litigants because it provides them with the opportunity to settle their disputes over child custody and visitation by agreement, rather than having a judge decide. However, the term “mediation” in relation to FCS is somewhat of a misnomer. While the mediator, or better yet, “FCS counselor” does attempt to help the parties reach an agreement during the session, the FCS counselor actually writes a recommendation concerning custody and visitation to the judge or commissioner if the parties do not reach an agreement.
The FCS session occurs in a private counseling office where a court-appointed counselor works to achieve a mutually agreed upon agreement that is in the best interests of the children. In San Diego County, the FCS mediator will meet with the parents and write a recommendation to the judge or commissioner if the parties are unable to reach an agreement in mediation. Other counties in California are different, such as in Orange County, where no recommendation is provided to the court.
Family Court Services is conveniently located in each family law courthouse, except Madge Bradley. For more information on Family Court Services, please click here, or call our office at (619) 284-4113.