Exceptions to Standard Child Custody Cases
Domestic violence and child abuse situations are different. A domestic violence perpetrator will not find the court a hostile place if he or she seeks a custody award. Absent circumstance involving domestic violence or a client bent on keeping a minor child away from the other parent faces an uphill battle in court.
All contested custody issues between parties, whether in connection with an initial temporary order, a permanent order, or a modification of an existing order, must be set for mediation pursuant to Family Code Section 3160. Mediation means different things depending on the county. In all counties of California, except for Los Angeles and Orange County, the mediator will make a recommendation to the judge on child custody after the mediation.
In Los Angeles and Orange County, the mediator will not make a recommendation. In these sections, the statutes compel mandatory mediation. It is important for parties to understand what mediation means. As noted above, mediation means one thing in Los Angeles and Orange County and something very different in all other California counties, such as Ventura, Riverside, San Diego, and San Bernardino.