If either parents requests an order, the courts may first send the parties to mediation. In certain California counties such as Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, this mediation with be called Child Custody Recommending Counseling. This simply means it is mediation, but if the parties cannot agree, the counselor will make a recommendation to the judge.
A county appointed counselor may only spend an hour or less on your case for a recommendation that will have major influence on the judge, so it is imperative that fathers make the most of what could only be 15-30 minutes with the counselor. Here are 10 tips on how to succeed in CCRC
- Make a Great First Impression: Think of this as a job interview for your children. Make the best appearance possible because first impressions matter.
- Have a Plan: Go into CCRC with a specific plan. Your Attorney should help you prepare how you will be addressing questions and what you will look to focus on.
- Be Specific: Be able to state what days and times you will have the children. Be able to tell the mediator who will do the driving and how the exchanges will occur. Be prepared to describe what you will do if the children are sick or you have an emergency when the children are in your care.
- Keep it Simple: You will only have a short amount of time to talk with the mediator. Go in with your high impact points that you strategized with your attorney. Do not bring any documents or pictures with you into the room.
- Focus ONLY on the Children: Only discuss those issues related to your children. This is not a time to rehash the relationship. CCRC is about how you will share your children moving forward. All your comments should be made as though you are looking through the eyes of your children. Do not be reactive to the other side under any circumstance.
- Stay Calm: The mediator will assess your body language. Watch your facial expressions. When someone else is talking, remain still. DO NOT REACT TO YOUR CO-PARENT.
- Watch your Words: Always refer to the children as “ours” not “mine.” Also, when you discuss the children, begin with the phrase, “It is in our children’s best interest to…”
- Wait Your Turn: Allow the other party and the mediator to finish speaking before you respond. In many situations, your co-parent may make untrue statements. Remember that men are much more likely to be found to be controlling or as having anger issues. Rise to the occasion and show this is not the case with your actions.
- Avoid being Petty or Combative: Avoid the temptation to argue with or insult the other party. Be the nicest person in the room.
- FACTS ONLY: If you have concerns, be specific and factual, not insulting. Start by saying, “I am concerned because…” and then offer a “for instance.” Describe a specific event that illustrates your point.
If you are a father in Orange, Riverside, or San Bernardino Counties, Call “The Fathers Rights Attorney” at 951-223-1058 today, and put the team at Reel Fathers Rights on your side today.