Effective July 1, 2017, the Placer County Superior Court transitioned from a child custody recommending counseling mediation model to a tiered mediation model in all cases involving contested child custody and visitation matters.

The tiered mediation model consists of three tiers. In Tier I, the parties will work with a mediator in an effort to come to an agreement in their case. That mediation will be confidential and not result in any recommendation or report to the court. For those who are unable to reach agreement, the court could order further services by referral to Tier II or Tier III. In Tier II, a court connected professional would gather information and submit a report, without recommendations, to the court. Tier III serves as a traditional child custody recommending counseling service, in which a report, with recommendations, would be provided to the court. Cases will initially be referred to Tier I, and the judicial officer will have the discretion to refer cases to subsequent tiers or child custody evaluation as needed.

This model intends to provide parties with additional opportunities to resolve conflict and to promote the best interest of the child prior to court hearings. Further details of the model can be found in the court’s Local Rules, Rule 30.1, which can be found at:

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