California : Family Code: 3160-3165
(provided by Divorce Source, Inc.)
3160. Each superior court shall make a mediator available. The court is not required to institute a family conciliation court in order to provide mediation services.
3161. The purposes of a mediation proceeding are as follows:
(a) To reduce acrimony that may exist between the parties.
(b) To develop an agreement assuring the child close and continuing contact with both parents that is in the best interest of the child, consistent with Sections 3011 and 3020.
(c) To effect a settlement of the issue of visitation rights of all parties that is in the best interest of the child.
3162. (a) Mediation of cases involving custody and visitation concerning children shall be governed by uniform standards of practice adopted by the Judicial Council.
(b) The standards of practice shall include, but not be limited to, all of the following:
(1) Provision for the best interest of the child and the safeguarding of the rights of the child to frequent and continuing contact with both parents, consistent with Sections 3011 and 3020.(c) In adopting the standards of practice, the Judicial Council shall consider standards developed by recognized associations of mediators and attorneys and other relevant standards governing mediation of proceedings for the dissolution of marriage.
(2) Facilitation of the transition of the family by detailing factors to be considered in decisions concerning the child's future.
(3) The conducting of negotiations in such a way as to equalize power relationships between the parties.
(d) The Judicial Council shall offer training with respect to the standards to mediators.
3163. Courts shall develop local rules to respond to requests for a change of mediators or to general problems relating to mediation.
3164. (a) The mediator may be a member of the professional staff of a family conciliation court, probation department, or mental health services agency, or may be any other person or agency designated by the court.
(b) The mediator shall meet the minimum qualifications required of a counselor of conciliation as provided in Section 1815.
3165. Any person, regardless of administrative title, hired on or after January 1, 1998, who is responsible for clinical supervision of evaluators, investigators, or mediators or who directly supervises or administers the Family Court Services evaluation or mediation programs shall meet the same continuing education requirements specified in Section 1816 for supervising and associate counselors of conciliation.
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