A custody dispute over a child in California can be resolved with the help of the Family Dispute Resolution Program. The FDR at the Center for Families, Children & the Courts assists, trains, supports and consults with court programs and also serves families in order to reach a quicker resolution to a custody dispute. This process of family dispute resolution through mediation is free of cost and alleviates the pain and trauma related to such disputes. The goal of the process is to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of the child.
In California, when there is a child custody or visitation dispute, both parties must participate in the process of mediation. Generally, the purpose of mediation is to reduce animosity between the parents of a child whose custody is being contested.
The intention of mediation is for the parents to reach an agreement that ensures that the child stays in close touch with both parents, if this arrangement is in the best interests of the child. Another aim of the mediation process is to settle the rights of visitation in such a way that the outcome favors the child the most.
While a private mediator is an expensive option for parents seeking resolution outside the court, the FDR program is free and the mediators are highly qualified. Mediators must have two or more years' experience in psychotherapy and counseling and a master's degree in behavioral sciences. The mediators also participate in continuing compulsory training. The FDR program is an effective and speedy process for any custody dispute issue and offers reliable solutions that put the child first in all cases.
Source: courts.ca.gov, "Family Dispute Resolution," Accessed on Nov. 5, 2014