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Mediations / Private and Court Ordered

If parents are able to agreeably work out a child custody and visitation plan amongst themselves, the Ventura court will accept the agreement as binding and enforceable. When you are unable to work out an amicable agreement, the State of California requires that you and your spouse and children over the age of six (6) attend a mediation, also known as a Conciliation Court Hearing.

Court Ordered Mediation

Mediation is a meeting with a Ventura court employee who has met a minimum qualification standard, which is set by the California legislature. This Ventura employee usually has a mental health or social work background.

Mediation is either recommending or non-recommending, which means the mediator either has been empowered to tell the court what visitation orders should be made or they do not have that power. When you have recommended mediation the court is inclined to adopt the mediator’s recommendation, at least in the short term, rather than recommend you see a professional mediator because you couldn’t agree on a plan. In non-recommended mediation there is less pressure on you to agree with the mediator’s recommendations, but it also means that the Judge may decide they want more input and help in solving your problem and they may refer you to a mediator where you will be required to pay for their services.

Our law firm is very experienced with recommended mediation. The Ventura courts know the mediators and their work, the mediators carry great weight into the court and their recommendations are usually accepted by the courts. We can help you present written material to the mediator, how to address (speak) your spouse and the mediator in mediation, in order to protect your rights and the rights of your children.

Private Mediation

Private Mediation is another option open to you and your spouse. With the approval of the court, you and your spouse agree to meet with a private mediator who is paid by both of you. This will give you a more informal setting, away from the Ventura courthouse, and is often less traumatic for your children. Private mediators may also be able to provide counseling and their relationship with you and the children may continue after the visitation plan is accepted by the court.

For your free family law consultation, call us today.

The Law Offices of Michael J. Smith are located directly
across the street from the Ventura County Court House
789 S. Victoria Avenue
Suite 208
Ventura, CA 93003

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