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Browsing in Family > Family Court Services

Family Court Services


  Family Court Services Location
1130 O Street
First Floor
Fresno, CA 93721-2220

Telephone: (559) 457-2100

Office Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8AM - 3PM, Friday: 8AM-12PM Noon

For a map to the Family Court Services location, click here.

Our Mission

The Family Court Services Department shall serve the Families of our Community and enhance public trust and confidence in the Family Court process. We shall, by the impartial and timely resolution of issues, comply with court directives and ensure that the best interests of the children are served.


For Frequently Asked Questions About Child Custody Hearings, click here.

To assist parents in creating a balanced visitation schedule, click here.

To assist parents in creating a visitation schedule with regards to the common holidays, click here.

Orientation

You will receive your orientation date and time from the judge at your scheduled readiness hearing. Orientation is an informational meeting for parties who have been referred by the Judge to meet with a Mediator to assist in creating the best parenting plan involving the child or children.

If you plan to bring an interpreter to your Mediation or Child Recommending Counseling session, click here to obtain the Interpreter Participation form.

Orientation is led by Family Court Services’ staff and is intended to help parties understand and be better prepared for their mediation session. The orientation sessions are held each Friday in the B. F. Sisk Civil Courthouse, Jury Assembly Room located on the first floor.

Orientation in English begins at 1:30 p.m., and orientation in Spanish begins at 2:30 p.m. You are encouraged to be on time for your orientation session as we cannot allow parties into the room once the session begins.

Attendance at the orientation is mandatory. See Local Rule 5.5.4(A)…”All parties shall personally attend the orientation and mediation.” Please reference the Court’s website for exceptions to the mandatory appearance requirement.

Only parents, parties who are joined to the case by court order, individuals assisting disabled parents or parties, interpreters or legal guardians for minor parents should attend orientation. Third parties, such as boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancés, present spouse and child will not be allowed in orientation.

Orientation will be about an hour in length, and there is no charge for this service.

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Mediation

For Local Rules dealing with the NEW Tier System, click here.

Pursuant to Family Code § 6303, if a court has issued a protective order, a support person shall be permitted to accompany a party protected by the order during mediation or mediation session. To obtain, prepare and hand in to the Court, the Support Person Participation form can be obtained by clicking here.

If you plan to bring an interpreter to your Mediation or Child Recommending Counseling session, click here to obtain the Interpreter Participation form.

You will receive your mediation appointment date and time from the judge at your scheduled readiness hearing. If there is a child custody dispute, the Court must provide parents the opportunity to attend mediation. Family Code section 3170 requires that if there are contested issues regarding children, the Court shall set the contested issues for mediation before the court makes orders at a hearing.

Each party will be asked to complete and submit an information form prior to the scheduled mediation appointment. The information placed on the form will provide invaluable information to the Mediator about you, your children and your wishes as to a child custody and child visitation plan.

For Family Court Services (Tier 1) Intake Form, click here.

The Mediator may meet with both parents together and/or individually. Individual mediation sessions are available in domestic violence cases. The Mediator will ask questions to develop an understanding of your family ’s history and determine the issues that need to be resolved. The Mediator will assist parents to temporarily set aside their disagreements and focus on developing a parenting plan that is in the best interest of their children. The Mediator’s only goal is to help the parents develop a mutually agreed upon parenting plan; therefore, if the parents are unable to reach an agreement regarding custody and visitation issues during the mediation, the Mediator will NOT provide a recommendation, regarding custody and/or visitation, to the Court.

The Family Court Services Mediator strives to resolve disagreements between the parties regarding the care and well-being of their children. Mediation provides parties an opportunity to resolve all differences with the assistance of a court employee who is an expert in resolving disagreements or conflicts. If the parties are able to reach an agreement, the Mediator will help them prepare a custody/visitation plan. That plan will be submitted to the court for review and signature at your follow-up hearing.

There is no fee for mediation.

To assist in preparing for mediation and/or writing your own agreements, the following links are provided:

Click here for Program Services example.
Click here for a Sole Custody example.
Click here for a Joint Custody example.
Click here for an example of standard language.

If you have any questions regarding orientation or mediation, please do not hesitate to contact Family Court Services at (559) 457-2100, option #4.

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