When parents have a dispute over custody of their children Family Code 3170 requires them to participate in child custody recommending counseling prior to a court hearing. The child custody recommending counseling (CCRC) occurs through Family Court Services (FCS).
Family Court Services (FCS) serves an important function in the court process of custody disputes. FCS counselors meet with parents and depending on the circumstances interview the children as well. The FCS counselors ask important questions to each parent and typically spend more time with the parents than a judge will. The FCS counselors have the responsibility of recommending court-ordered custody plans.
Parents all too often do not adequately prepare for FCS sessions. The importance of these sessions should not be underestimated. Parents are encouraged during their FCS session to reach an agreement and if no agreement can be reached the FCS counselor must make recommendations to the court regarding a parenting plan.
The FCS recommendations are an important part of the court process in ordering parenting plans. That is why it is crucial that parents come prepared and have a plan going in to FCS counseling. During FCS counseling unprepared parents all too often fail to focus on the children’s best interests. Common mistakes parents make during FCS counseling is referring to children as “my children” or talking about their parenting time in terms of percentages. A example is: “I have 25% time with my children and I should have 25%.” Expressing parenting time in terms of percentages will make the mediator think your motives for custody are to change the amount of child support. FCS counseling sessions are not the proper venue to talk about money.
Due to the importance of the FCS recommendations it is crucial to prepare prior to an appointment. Myers Family Law can discuss this process as it relates to your specific situation.