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Family Court Services

Family Court Services serves parties who are referred by the Court for Child Custody Recommending Counseling, or whom voluntarily are seeking mediation services and have an existing family law or support case with the Court. In addition, Family Court Services conducts court ordered investigations for Child Custody/Visitation matters, Guardianship of Minors, Probate Conservatorships of adults, Minor Marriages, Emancipations and Stepparent Adoptions filed in conjunction with any related Freedom From Parental Custody and Control petitions. Parties who need assistance filing any of the paperwork associated with these matters can find assistance in our Self-Help center also known as the Family Law Facilitator.

Services Provided

Child Custody Recommending Counseling (CCRC):

Child custody and visitation mediation is mandated in Family Code section 3160 and is part of the process of Child Custody Recommending Counseling. However, if you are referred to Family Court Services and mediation is not successful, the child custody recommending counselor will provide information and recommendations to the court in writing before your court hearing.

Stepparent Adoptions:

Stepparent adoption investigations on requests for adoption, pursuant to Family Code section 9001.

Before granting a petition for adoption, the court authorizes an investigation of the adoptive parents(s), regardless of whether they are related to the children or stepparents. Parties are required to pay for these investigations. Typically, the court will also consider petitions to terminate parental rights of the parent(s) who are relinquishing their children in this process.

View the Independent Adoption Program (IAP) Fact Sheet for further information regarding independent adoptions.

Minor Marriage:

Minor Marriage interviews for juveniles who petition for a marriage license, per Family Code sections 302 and 304.

Domestic Violence:

Parties alleging domestic violence may file for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.

The restraining order process for domestic violence cases:

Domestic Violence and Child Custody Custody, Family Law code section 3044

Violencia en el hogar y custodia de los hijos, Codigo de Familia, seccion 3044

Child Custody, Support and Visitation:

Even after marital and domestic partnership issues have been resolved, the court retains jurisdiction over issues that affect minor children in these proceedings until these children reach 18 years of age (or 19 years of age if still in high school). Parties may file motions to modify custody, support and visitation any time the circumstances warrant such filings.

Emancipation of Minors:

A minor may petition the court for a declaration of emancipation if the minor is at least 14 years of age, willingly lives separately from parents, and managing his own personal financial affairs.


Guardianship and Conservatorship:

Investigation of Guardianship and Conservatorship petitions pursuant to Probate Code sections 1513 and 1826.


A conservatorship assists those who are unable to manage their estate or their personal affairs. For more help please visit these links:


Read about Estates, Wills & Probate on the California Courts Self-Help site.


The explanations regarding the use and forms of trusts should be handled by an attorney.

Interactive Resources

The following link includes the highly recommended  Mediation Orientation video from the perspective of the child:

The following links provide interactive experiences for kids, teens/preteens, parents, and professionals for learning about what to expect during and after a separation or divorce.

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