November 15, 2019
Family Court Services

The Court is making changes to its Local Court Rules. One of the changes is to provide the FCS parent orientation online, except in certain circumstances starting January 1, 2020. For details on this change, and other pending changes, please see the Local Court Rules notice.

Child Custody Recommending Counseling (formerly mediation)

Family Court Services (FCS) is part of the Court and provides child custody recommending counseling for families with custody and visitation disputes. A person may be referred to a recommending counseling appointment when an action is started that involves custody or visitation. During the appointment both parents meet with a FCS professional also called a "child custody recommending counselor." He or she will help the parents reach an agreement concerning custody and visitation. If the parents reach an agreement, they may receive help drafting a stipulation and Court order through the office of the Family Law Facilitator (650) 261-5010. If the parents do not reach an agreement, the recommending counselor is required to make a recommendation to the court.

Parent Orientation Class

Parent Orientation is mandatory. You must complete this class before attending your first mediation/child custody recommending counseling (ccrc) appointment.

Parent Orientation will assist you in knowing what to expect at your upcoming mediation/ ccrc appointment. It will also prepare you to think about a parenting plan that will be best for your children. There is an accompanying Parent Handbook that includes important information about logistics, resources, and helping your children through their parents' separation/divorce.

Parent Orientation may be completed in two ways:

In person:

Additional Services

Parent Workshop


Contact us

400 County Center, 6th Floor,
Redwood City, CA 94063 [Directions]

Phone Number and Phone Hours:
(650) 261-5080
Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Closed from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

Fax Number: (650) 261-5142

Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Closed from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)

For child support matters, please contact the San Mateo County Department of Child Support Services  at 1 (866) 901-3212.

© 2019 Superior Court of San Mateo County