Ventura County is a recommending county, meaning that child custody mediations are not confidential and if you do not come to agreement, the mediator will submit a recommendation to the court.
Here is some crucial information necessary for a successful outcome.
1. Never Preface a Phrase with the Words "I want"
Child custody mediation is not about you. It is about your children. Sometimes things that parents want do not necessarily align with what is best for the children. You must always keep your children in mind and phrase your requests in such a way as to persuade the mediator that they are in your child's best interest.
2. Never Refer To Your Child as "My son", "My daughter" or "My child"
Referring to your child using a possessive pronoun is a sure red flag to mediators, attorneys and judges. Instead refer to your child by name or "our child."
3. Never Discuss Finances in a Child Custody Mediation
The mediator does not care about your financial situation. The mediator is attempting to either secure an agreement on custody and visitation or will make a recommendation. Financial issues are not before the mediator and you do not want the mediator to be under the impression that your motivation is financial rather than your child's best interest
4. Make Sure All of Your Paperwork is Filed Timely
The Ventura County Local Rules state that mediators are to review timely filed paperwork. Make sure your paperwork is filed on time so the mediator knows and understands the issues and your position on them.
5. Do Not Bash The Other Parent In Mediation
You are walking a fine line here because you want a successful outcome in an adversarial process. Nonetheless, a successful outcome will hinge on your ability to move beyond past hurts and work for the best interest of your children. The more willing and able you are to co-parent, you will make a much better impression. Rude behavior, insults and putdowns may make you feel better temporarily, but you will alienate the mediator whose recommendation carries substantial weight in court.
6. Always Attend Orientation
When you are assigned to child custody mediation, you will receive an orientation date which is on a Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. Do not blow this off. It is designed to help you have the best mediation you can have.
7. Dress Conservatively If Possible
Jeans, T-shirts and tennis shoes feel good and are comfortable, but you must treat this process very seriously. Ventura County is a very conservative county. Make sure you wear clothes that cover up piercings and tattoos.Additional Resources
For More Information about the Ventura County Child Custody Mediation process, go to www.ventura.courts.ca.gov.