Family Court Services
Child Custody Recommending Counseling
(formerly referred to as mediation)
Family Court Services (FCS) is part of the Court and provides child custody recommending counseling for families with custody and visitation disputes. A case is sent to a recommending counselor the morning of court if the parties do not have an agreement. During the session, he or she will help the parents reach an agreement concerning custody and visitation. If the parents do not reach an agreement the recommending counselor is required to make a recommendation to the court. If the parents reach an agreement they will be asked to sign a stipulation form. The court will prepare the order for those not represented by an attorney.
Mediation Orientation Program
Family Court Services offers an Orientation Program for parents involved in the Family Court process. This orientation and accompanying parent handbook includes important information about logistics and resources, helps children through their parents’ separation, and how to develop a parenting plan. A video illustrates the need for parents to keep their children out of adult conflicts.
The Orientation Program is mandatory for all parents who have child custody and visitation issues. In order to prevent the spread of illnesses, litigants are not ordered to personally attend Mediation Orientation training, but are instructed to watch the video before their court appearance. The links to the videos are below. There is also a Mediation Orientation packet available for your reference.
Interactive Websites that provide information on divorce and separation for kids, teens, and parents:
Families Change– A guide to separation and divorce.
Changeville– Helping kids with parental divorce or separation.