What is Family Law Conciliation Court?


If you have a child custody dispute involving litigation in Los Angeles and Ventura County, you and the other parent will be ordered to attend something called Conciliation Court. It isn’t another court. There is no judge. It is a child custody mediation, conducted by Family Court Services of the Los Angeles and Ventura Superior Court.


What is Family Law Conciliation Court?


The purpose of Conciliation Court is to help parents, with the assistance of a trained mental health professional serving as the mediator, work out a custody plan with the goal of avoiding further litigation. Prior to Conciliation Court, parents must complete an on-line course called “Parents and Children First.” Each parent will receive a certificate of completion and present it to the mediator. There is no charge for the on-line class or Conciliation Court and since the pandemic, parents can appear remotely. It’s important to note monetary issues, such as child support are not discussed and are beyond the authority of Conciliation Court. Further, Los Angeles County is a non-reporting county, meaning the Conciliation Court mediator does not make custody recommendations to the court. Ventura County is a reporting county and the mediator can make custody recommendations to the court.


How to Prepare for Conciliation Court


Normally, attorneys and the parties’ children are not present for Conciliation Court. The best way to prepare for Conciliation Court is to write down what you believe is the best custody plan for your child(ren) by focusing on their best interests. If you have an attorney, it can be beneficial to meet prior to your appointment to discuss your concerns, your custody plan, and develop a strategy. It is important to keep an open mind and listen carefully to the mediator, they may have good advice and reasonable suggestions to help both parents avoid custody litigation.

If you reach an agreement, it will become a court order. If you have counsel, it is reasonable to tell the mediator that you want your attorney to review it first before signing. You can change your mind by giving written notice of your decision to Conciliation Court either before the next court hearing or within 5 calendar days of signing the agreement, whichever occurs first.


The Reape-Rickett Law Firm’s experienced family law attorneys can help you can help successfully prepare and guide you through the Conciliation Court process to protect your and your children’s best interests. Contact us today to speak with one of our child custody and visitation attorneys at (888) 851-1611.

RRL Up Icon
Skip to content