The Family Court Screening Form - The Men's Legal Center


The Family Court Screening Form

In California counties, parties in a custody or visitation dispute and schedule a hearing on custody issues are normally scheduled to attend a Family Court Service mediation/counseling session with a court mediator to reach an agreement on these matters only (no financial matters will be discussed). The hearing on custody and visitation can be pre-judgment or for a post-judgment modification.

Most counties in California have Family Court Services Screening forms when a party files for a hearing on custody and visitation. It is confidential and only used by the Family Court Service office. It alerts Family Court Services of sensitive issues that could affect the meeting. It also asks the parties if there are allegations of domestic violence, restraining orders in effect, need for a translator or telephonic contact, and if a third party is requesting custody and visitation rights such as grandparents.

When there is a Request for a Hearing for Custody and Visitation in Family Court, and a Family Court Service (FCS) appointment is set by the family law court clerk, an FCS Screening Form is required to be filled out by the moving party (i.e., the party requesting the court hearing or their attorney). The court clerk is supposed to reject the RFO if the form has not been filled out.

If there are Domestic Violence allegations or Domestic Violence Restraining Orders in place the counselor will interview the parties separately.

If one party is calling in for the FCS meeting, the FCS counselor will alert the front desk to expect the call and direct it to his or her office. If a party needs a translator, the FCS will coordinate to have a court-approved translator present for the FCS counseling. This helps coordinate a smooth FCS meeting.

The FCS Screening form should not be confused with the FCS Data Sheet. The FCS Data Sheet is to be provided to FCS before the scheduled counseling. The desired schedule should be spelled out accurately to make it easier for the FCS counselor to adopt the parent’s position.

A precondition to propose a reasonable and workable child sharing schedule is to have thoroughly analyzed the parties’ work, transportation, and children’s school situations.

Most Counties in California offer versions of these forms online.

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