Superior Court of California - County of Orange

Child Custody Investigation Information

Please Note
Q: When are investigations regarding custody and visitation ordered?
A: The Court may order an investigation in custody or visitation disputes if the judge feels that it is necessary to resolve complex issues such as safety of the children. Court Mediators and attorneys may also recommend to the Court that an investigation be conducted if, in their judgment, it would help to clarify allegations and promote settlement of issues in the best interest of the children.

Q: Who conducts the child custody mediation?
A: Child custody mediation is conducted by Court Mediators who are skilled professionals with at least a Master's Degree and extensive clinical experience in the fields of psychology, marriage, family and child counseling. Statutory training requirements include: domestic violence and its effects on children; substance abuse; child sexual abuse; family dynamics; the effects of divorce and separation on children; and the developmental needs of children.

Q: How does an investigation help the Court?
A: When there are custody or visitation disputes at issue, an investigation can be tailored to focus on the specific information needed by the Court depending on the unique family situation. Investigations are designed to gather information, clarify allegations, determine the best interests of the children, promote settlement of issues and enhance family functioning. The investigation is not about declaring winners or losers in the dispute between parents, it is about meeting the needs of the children involved in the dispute.

© 2014 Superior Court of Orange County