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Child Custody

San Diego Family Court Services FAQ

Let Our Skilled Child Custody Attorney Help You Navigate the System

Family law proceedings entail a broad variety of issues, such as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony, valuation, relocation, and termination of parental rights. The following guidelines address the intricacies of child custody recommending counseling.

When it comes to these meetings, it is critical to just be yourself—specifically, the best version of you. Remember to properly dress for the occasion and act respectfully, despite the overwhelming emotions surrounding your case. Lastly, be prepared when it comes to the questions you’ll be asked and always consider the best interest of your child.

1. What is child custody recommending counseling?

It is a form of negotiation between parties with the assistance of a professional counselor who must help them reach an agreement with custody and parenting issues. If the parties are not able to reach an agreement during the FCS session, the counselor must submit a written report to the court, detailing the recommendation for custody and visitation, as well as the reasons for them.

2. What is the main purpose of child custody recommending counseling?

The main purpose of this type of counseling is to (1) substantially reduce the hostility between the parties, (2) create an agreement which enables both parents to have frequent and continuing contact with the child and that assures the health, safety, and well-being of the child, and (3) obtain a resolution that addresses the issues of custody and rights to parenting time that is in the best interest of the child.

3. What does child custody recommending counseling include?

Interviews with the parents, interviews with the child, interview with other parties who may be involved, and interviews with other individuals who may possess information regarding the situation.

4. When does child custody recommending counseling happen?

The counseling happens prior to the scheduled court hearing.

5. Who leads the child custody recommending counseling?

Skilled Family Court Counselors who have obtained master’s degrees and specialized training in areas (e.g. conflict resolution, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, substance abuse, children’s developmental stages, parenting techniques, etc.) related to families and children are employed by the court.

6. How can I prepare for child custody recommending counseling?

It is important to put your strong feelings toward the other party aside and focus on what your child’s need to have a healthy relationship with both parents, which is what the court prefers. Have at least two different proposals ready that detail how your child can spend time with you and the other parent. When the other parent has ideas of his/her own, be sure to listen to them and discuss what might be the best solution for everyone.

7. What if an agreement cannot be reached during child custody recommending counseling?

If the parties cannot reach a full—or even partial—agreement, the Family Court Counselor will submit a written recommendation to the court regarding issues which the parties are not able to agree on. Keep in mind, the judge ultimately makes the final decision since the Family Court Counselor can only make recommendations.

8. Can I submit information to FCS prior to my child custody recommending counseling appointment?

Complete Family Court Services Data Sheet (SDSC FCS-002) before your child custody recommending counseling appointment. However, for all other information, please take a look at the Local Court Rules. While some counselors will allow you submit documents, some won’t.

9. Can I engage in “ex parte communication” to the Family Court Counselor before or after the FCS appointment?

“Ex parte communication” means any communication between an appointed court official and a party to a legal proceeding or any other person about the case, outside of the presence of the opposing party or the opposing party’s attorney. This type of communication is prohibited at any time before a judge has made a final decision in the case.

10. What if I miss my FCS appointment?

Unfortunately, another appointment cannot be scheduled due to the short period of time between the FCS appointment and the court hearing. If one or both parties are not able to attend counseling, the session will be canceled and the court will be notified. In the event you miss your FCS appointment, you must still appear at your scheduled court hearing, but be prepared with an explanation to the judge.

11. Do children attend child custody recommending counseling?

No. Although an interview needs to be conducted, that will be scheduled for a separate occasion.

Get Nearly 30 Years of Experience on Your Side

I’m Attorney Andrea Schneider, a proven advocate for families throughout San Diego, La Mesa, El Cajon, Lemon Grove, and the surrounding communities. I can evaluate your case, determine all of your legal options, and help you obtain the best results possible.

Do not hesitate to contact us and schedule a free consultation today.

Professional Help When You Need It Most

  • I treat my clients like family, not case numbers. My clients get the personal attention that their case deserves.
  • When you call my office, you get me! You will not be handed off. I live and breathe your case and I will be with you every step of the way.
  • As a mother of two, I understand it is important to do what's best for you and your family. You can trust, I will do just that for you.
  • I truly care about my clients and am here to help them with any legal matter they are facing.
  • I have your best interest at heart and in mind. I will patiently listen to what you want, need and value.
  • We will strategize and develop a game plan that will help you achieve your goals all while staying within your budget.

Hear From Others
I Have Helped

  • The best call I could have made!

    “I called Andrea looking for some advice about my situation and she was very helpful. If I am in this type or situation again I would definitely be calling her again. Thank you so much Andrea !”

    Kevin s

  • She was well organized, professional and I would definitely recommend Andrea!

    “Andrea helped me with my custody case. She was very attentive to me, my emails and my questions. She always answered me promptly and always made time for my case, which I truly appreciated. She was very helpful with my declaration and direction of my case, making sure we were fully prepared before we started the process. She was well organized, professional and I would definitely recommend Andrea!”

    Amy

  • I left our appointment feeling empowered and capable of negotiating the divorce and child custody process.

    “She had genuine concern for me and my children at a time where it often felt like nobody was looking out for us. Andrea was also very flexible with scheduling and offered solutions on how to work with my budget.”

    Tori

  • Andrea was a great person to work with, extremely flexible and understanding

    “Andrea was a great person to work with, extremely flexible and understanding. She was always available for me and returned all my calls/messages very quickly. She worked with me on everything and was always willing to help.”

    Tiffany

  • Andrea has worked hard on my case and I am very very grateful for that

    “No one would ever believe how much Andrea has helped me go through this. She has helped me keep my spirits up when I have been at my lowest point in my life. I never thought I’d be getting a divorce from someone I once loved. I would refer her to any of my friends. Andrea has worked hard on my case and I am very very grateful for that. I would probably have given up and just taken what ever I could get. She is a great lawyer.”

    Bonnie