California : Family Code: 3170-3173
(provided by Divorce Source, Inc.)
3170. (a) If it appears on the face of a petition, application, or other pleading to obtain or modify a temporary or permanent custody or visitation order that custody, visitation, or both are contested, the court shall set the contested issues for mediation.
(b) Domestic violence cases shall be handled by Family Court Services in accordance with a separate written protocol approved by the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council shall adopt guidelines for services, other than services provided under this chapter, that counties may offer to parents who have been unable to resolve their disputes. These services may include, but are not limited to, parent education programs, booklets, videotapes, or referrals to additional community resources.
3171. (a) If a stepparent or grandparent has petitioned, or otherwise applied, for a visitation order pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 3100), the court shall set the matter for mediation.
(b) A natural or adoptive parent who is not a party to the proceeding is not required to participate in the mediation proceeding, but failure to participate is a waiver of that parent's right to object to a settlement reached by the other parties during mediation or to require a hearing on the matter.
3172. Mediation shall not be denied to the parties on the basis that paternity is at issue in a proceeding before the court.
3173. (a) Upon the adoption of a resolution by the board of supervisors authorizing the procedure, a petition may be filed pursuant to this chapter for mediation of a dispute relating to an existing order for custody, visitation, or both.
(b) The mediation of a dispute concerning an existing order shall be set not later than 60 days after the filing of the petition.
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