When do courts in family law cases order counseling? Why do they do it and what do they hope to get out of it?
If you look up California Family Code 3190, the court can order counseling when:
- The child custody dispute poses a substantial danger to the best interest of the child
- Cases involving a history of domestic violence
But courts actually order counseling for a lot of cases that don’t meet those categories. Counseling is for couples who simply can’t get a long and have a history of showing up to court litigating their disputes. Court ordered counseling can also be given at the very beginning of a case where the judge clearly sees that the dispute will be a long and difficult one. Counseling can be ordered at the beginning in order to lay a good foundation of what’s to come. Let’s look at the above factors in more detail.
What is Counseling?
The counseling are therapy sessions for the child. There are also sessions which are for the child and the parent at the same time. They can’t last for more than a year and are designed to help parents work out problems between each other and their children.
Substantial Danger to the Best Interest of the Child
Cases which pose a substantial danger to the child’s best interests are most commonly domestic violence cases, discussed below. However, there are other scenarios which warrant court ordered counseling. For example, a move-away case where one parent wants to move to another state or country can be a big change for the child. While courts typically use parental evaluations for these cases, they may also use counseling. If you are a parent who child is going to be moved against your will, you might want to consider having the court order counseling. There the therapist can listen to the child and see whether the move is against his best interests.
There are a lot of different tools that family courts can use to solve domestic violence problems. The difference with the counseling sessions are that they are focused on your children. If you think that your child has been abused in the past, having a therapist is a safe place for your child. Therapists are mandated reporters, which means any time they hear of child abuse they must report it to the authorities. Therefore, having a therapist whom your child trusts can help the process of resolving any domestic violence. It also makes it a lot easier proving the domestic violence in court when you have a therapist testifying that the child told her about it.
How can I help?
If you have any more question about divorce, child custody, or criminal defense please contact me for a consultation at email@example.com or call 626-227-1176 and ask to speak with me. Connect with me on Google+.
The Law Offices of Levon Kevorkian is a boutique firm located in Pasadena, California handling Divorce, Child Custody, and Criminal Defense matters. Our office is located at 1055 E. Colorado Blvd. Fifth Floor, Pasadena CA 91106.
Disclaimer: This blog post, and other blog posts by me, are not meant to be legal advice. No attorney-client relationship will be formed by these blog posts.