Palm Desert, CA asked in Family Law and Child Custody for California

Q: Is it required by the mediator in family law to read any documents or declaration before meeting with the parents

I was told by the mediator she did not know if she was allowed to read them and she would have to ask her supervisor?

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2 Lawyer Answers

Andy Cook

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It depends on the county. Sadly, mediators -- even though some are tasked with making written recommendations to the judge-- do not always read declarations. In counties where the mediator participates in "confidential mediation", it is less crucial because if the parties do not reach an agreement, the mediator, now more commonly referred to as a counselor, just lets the court know that no agreement was reached. But if the counselor is supposed to make a written recommendation, you would think that by statute, he or she would have to read declarations that were timely submitted. But, at least here in San Diego County, though we used to have the practice of submitting declarations to the mediator as long as certain deadlines were met (and even though we are a "reporting" county with written recommendations made to the judge whenever an agreement cannot be reached), handing documents to the counselor at mediation is not allowed.

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.

PREMIUM
Answered
  • Divorce Lawyer
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If you have a mediator who is not doing her job or doesn't know how to do her job, you can file an objection to the mediator serving in that role if she was court-appointed, or you can cease working with that mediator if you and your ex privately agreed to use that mediator without court orders. It's important to have attorney representation in the mediation process. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media appearances/ publications on my law practice website, www.AliEsq.com. I practice law in CA, NY, MA, WA, and DC in the following areas of law: Business & Contracts, Criminal Defense, Divorce & Child Custody, and Education Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice; make any predictions, guarantees, or warranties; or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

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