Child Custody and Visitation (Family Court Services)


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Telephone hours: 8:00am - 2:00pm
Office hours: 8:00am - 2:00pm
Telephone: (925) 957-7950
Fax: (925) 957-7980
Location: Peter Spinetta Family Law Center
751 Pine Street Martinez, CA 94553
Accessibility: Wheelchair ramp
Transportation: County Connection Route 116 to Martinez
Fees: Child Custody Recommending Counseling (formerly “Mediations”): no charge

($100 fee for failure to appear for child custody recommending counseling);

($250 fee for return child custody recommending counseling)

Spanish by arrangement in advance

Español por el arreglo por adelantado

Parents who cannot agree on child custody or visitation issues must go to child custody recommending counseling (formerly known as “mediation”) before the judge can hear that part of their case. Before you can go to child custody recommending counseling, however, all parents must participate in an online orientation session. After completing the online orientation, both parents must call Family Court Services at (925) 957-7950 between 8:00am and 2:00pm Monday through Friday to schedule their  child custody recommending counseling appointments.

In child custody recommending counseling, parents get help planning for their children’s care. This includes talking about ways their children can have close and continuing contact with each parent. If the parents cannot agree on these issues through child custody recommending counseling, the counselor may make a recommendation to the judge about what arrangements he or she believes are in the best interests of the child or children. If there are domestic violence issues, the party alleging domestic violence may ask to schedule the child custody recommending counseling session at separate times. Videoconferencing is also an option at the request of the party alleging domestic violence.

Child custody recommending counseling is for parents only. Children or other parties (such as attorneys, relatives, new spouses, minors or significant others) do not attend child custody recommending counseling. There are no childcare facilities at the court. Parents must make other arrangements to care for their children while they attend orientation, child custody recommending counseling and the court hearing.

Frequently Asked Questions-Child Custody Recommending Counseling
(Formerly “Mediation”) and Family Court Services

Online guides for parents, teens and children

More Child Custody and Visitiation Information

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Family Law Forms Online



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