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) 363-4590. If the parents do not reach an agreement, the recommending counselor is required to make a recommendation to the court.
Parent Orientation Program
Family Court Services offers an Orientation Program for parents involved in the Family Court process. This orientation, and accompanying parent handbook, includes important information about logistics and resources, helping children through their parents' separation, and how to develop a parenting plan. A video illustrates the need for parents to keep their children out of adult conflicts.
The Orientation Program is mandatory for all parents who have child custody and visitation issues. The Orientation Program may be completed in two ways:
- View the Orientation
- Download Handout: "Orientation to Child Custody Recommending Counseling (formerly mediation )
Note: Both parts of the online Orientation Program (1 & 2) must be completed.
- Sign up to Attend the Orientation Program
400 County Center, 6th Floor,
Redwood City, CA 94063 [Directions]
Phone Number and Phone Hours:
Monday - Friday: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
(Closed from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.)
Fax Number: (650) 261-5142
Office Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 (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.