Child Custody and Visitation FAQs
CCRC services are conducted by a mental health professional with at least a master’s degree in the field of psychology, marriage family and child counseling or social work, and a minimum of two years clinical counseling experience.
Typically, only the parties involved in the case are allowed to participate in the CCRC session. Attorneys are not allowed to participate in the CCRC session and children do not participate in the CCRC session.
A children’s interview is a meeting between the Recommending Counselor and children – separate from the meeting between the Recommending Counselor and the parents. The Recommending Counselor has the discretion to interview children, or the Judge may order the interview. The purpose of the interview is to gain a better understanding of children’s needs so that the court can make orders in their best interests.
You will have an opportunity to preview the Recommending Counselor’s recommendation (report) and raise any concerns regarding the proposed parenting plan at the time your case is heard in court.
The best way to share documents with the Recommending Counselor is to file the documents with the Clerk’s Office. This allows the Recommending Counselor and the other parent an opportunity to preview the documents prior to the CCRC session. If information has not yet been filed with the court or presented to the other parent, the Recommending Counselor might consider the information, but you will be required to share the information with the other parent and file it with the court.
Generally speaking, the Recommending Counselor is not allowed to talk to you or the other party outside of the CCRC session. This is not allowed for the benefit of each party since each party on the case has the right to know and respond to what each person has said.
Exception: When meeting with both parties at the same time jeopardizes the safety of one or both parties. If you have any safety concerns, please notify the clerk upon check-in and you will be given the option of meeting with the Recommending Counselor separately, without the other party in the same room.
You have a right to meet separately with the Recommending Counselor if you have any safety concerns. If you have any safety concerns, please notify the clerk upon check-in and you will be given the option of meeting with the Recommending Counselor separately, without the other party in the same room.
You will still need to appear at your court hearing and explain to the court why you missed your CCRC appointment. The court may refer you to Family Court Services to schedule another CCRC appointment.
The Recommending Counselor is trained to consider the impact that any substance abuse might have on your ability to safely care for your children and will recommend a parenting plan that considers the best interests of your children.
The Family Court Services Manager can approve the option of participating in the CCRC session remotely under a limited set of circumstances, such as, a party no longer resides in Southern California. The request can be made by completing form RI-FL066 Request to Appear Remotely (Video/Phone) For CCRC (pdf ) and submitting it to the Family Law Court or Family Court Services department where your case will be heard.
In Riverside County, the CCRC sessions are confidential between the CCRC and the parties. However, disclosure of information received during the CCRC session may be shared with the judge. Additionally, the Recommending Counselor is required to report any suspicions of child abuse or neglect to the appropriate Child Welfare Agency.
Several factors are considered when weighing the children’s input, including but not limited to the child’s age, level of maturity and level of understanding. Contrary to popular belief, there is no set age at which a child can decide which parent he/she will live with.
The Recommending Counselor will only attend the hearing if the court orders the Recommending Counselor to testify as an expert witness, or if either party has subpoenaed the Recommending Counselor to testify.
No, you are only required to participate in the orientation once. When you have provided the certificate of completion of the courts’ required Parent Orientation Program (external site ) to the Family Court Services staff, it will be documented and filed as part of your Family Law case.
For a more extensive list of frequently asked questions related to Families and Children, visit the California Courts Website.