A previous blog posting provided a general outline of Santa Clara County’s approach to the child custody and visitation procedure that occurs when a couple is divorcing or seeking a legal separation. In the second half of this series, the discussion will focus on the phase of the custody process after the Judicial Custody Conference (JCC) is completed.
If the parents are able to reach an agreement during the JCC, they memorialize it in a written agreement and the custody/visitation portion of the case has been settled. However, if the parties do not reach an agreement, the judge may refer the parties to an assessment or evaluation with Family Court Services, or may set the case for trial.
If the parties are referred to an evaluation or assessment, Family Court Services or a private evaluator will interview the spouses, the spouses’ attorneys, and may choose to interview the children or other relevant individuals. The contents of the evaluation reports are kept confidential and are only sent to the Court, attorneys, and self-represented parties. Afterwards, the evaluator submits recommendations to the judge. Any party may file and serve objections to the orders within 15 days of the mailing of the recommended order. If an objection is filed, attorneys, parties, and the evaluator are then required to attend a Custody Settlement Conference (CSC). The purpose of the CSC is to try to settle any remaining custody and visitation disputes. If an agreement is reached at this phase, the case is settled. If an agreement is not reached upon the conclusion of the CSC, the judge will set the case for trial.
For more information about the child custody and visitation process, please contact our San Jose child custody attorneys at Lonich Patton Erlich Policastri. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.