If you or your child have suffered domestic violence in California, you can get help. There are options available to determine custody and visitation that can be determined by the court. You must have a parenting plan in place that can ensure your safety and your child’s.
What steps do you have to take for custody mediation?
Often, when you’re going through a situation of domestic violence and want a parenting plan, you must go through the court. You will have to meet with a court professional who serves as a mediator to determine if you and the other parent of your child are able to agree on a parenting plan through the mediation process. If it’s impossible to agree on a parenting plan, a judge will then come up with a plan that works out in the best interest of your child.
What should you consider before you have custody mediation?
There are certain things to consider before your custody mediation takes place. They include the following:
• If domestic violence is an issue and you prefer to meet separately with the mediator and not have your child’s other parent there, you have a right to do that. Inform the court staff that you would like a separate session.
• You can bring another person with you to mediation and court for support. However, they cannot speak for you or participate in mediation or in the court proceedings.
• You can request supervised visitation if you’re concerned about your child having time alone with their other parent.
• Ask for detailed orders that clearly state when visits will be taking place.
• Always pick a safe spot to drop off your child and pick them up.
• You may want to ask if child exchanges should happen without you and your child’s other parent seeing one another, such as if you drop your child off at school and the other parent picks them up.
Who can you rely on for help?
An attorney can help you if you have concerns regarding child custody when domestic violence is involved. An attorney can help you prepare any necessary documentation you need and help you get a restraining order if necessary.