Family Law

Family Law cases can involve a number of issues such as: Child Custody, Child Support, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Legal Separation, Nullity (Annulment), Parentage (Paternity) and Spousal or Domestic Partner Support.


Family Law Division

Family Law Division processes cases relating to Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders, Divorce/Dissolution of Marriage, Divorce, Legal separation, Annulment, Child Custody and Visitation, Child and Spousal Support, Paternity/Parentage and Adoption.

Family Mediation and Investigations

Introduction

Family Mediation and Investigations is a department of the Kern County Superior Court which provides family mediations, custody evaluations, guardianship investigations, stepparent adoption investigations, and conservatorship investigations. It is the goal of Family Mediation and Investigations to meet the needs of the courts, families, and attorneys using our services in a professional, respectful manner.

Mediation

Parents who have separated or have divorced meet with a mediator to develop a plan to raise the children. This plan generally consists of where the children will live and who will make decisions regarding the children's care, health, education, and welfare. The plan will specify when the children will be with each parent. All decisions should be made in the best interest of the children.

The mediator will not make recommendations as to custody and visitation. If the parents cannot reach an agreement in mediation, then the parents will proceed with the hearing.

Mediation should be conducted prior to court hearings where custody and visitation will be litigated. The Family Law Clerk of the Court or the Family Law Facilitator will direct you to Family Mediation and Investigations to arrange an appointment at the time you file your legal papers.

Investigations

In some cases, the court may be required, by law or of necessity, to order an investigation in family law and probate matters. Family Mediation and Investigations investigators conduct the investigations in these cases.

Family Law Facilitator

The Family Law Facilitator is not your lawyer. Communication between you and the staff of the Family Law Facilitator Unit is not confidential. No attorney-client relationship is established. We may provide information and services to the other party in your case. You should consult with a private attorney if you want personalized advice, need a confidential conversation, or need representation in court. The Family Law Facilitator and Staff are not responsible for the outcome of your case.

Introduction

The Office of the Family Law Facilitator provides assistance to unrepresented parties in child and spousal support cases. The goal of the Family Law Facilitator is to provide direction to the unrepresented party. E-Mail

The Family Law Facilitator services include:

  1. Assisting customers face-to-face, by mail and email at four court sites: Delano, Metro Justice Building, Mojave, Ridgecrest (by video conference), and Shafter. Check the Travel Schedule for dates and times.
  2. Providing educational materials on establishing parentage, including voluntary declarations of paternity, and establishing, modifying and enforcing child support and spousal support.
  3. Distributing and reviewing court forms for accuracy and file readiness.
  4. Preparing orders and judgments.
  5. Assisting customers referred by judicial officers, other court divisions and the Local Child Support Agency.
  6. Referring customers to other community agencies and resources that provide services for parents and children.
  7. Meeting with and preparing child support calculations and other related documents for customers with cases currently assigned to the Department of Child Support Services.

Sample Packets

The attached samples have been prepared by the Family Law Facilitator through a grant from the Judicial Council of California. The opinions and findings in these publications are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Judicial Council of California.