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Child Custody Recommending Counseling (CCRC)

Child Custody Recommending Counseling (CCRC): Focusing on Children's Needs

When parents separate or divorce, decisions need to be made about where the children will live and how they will be cared for. These are important decisions. Sometimes they are the most difficult. California law states that when parents cannot reach an agreement, they must first meet with a professional mediator (Child Custody Recommending Counselor) before they can go to court.

Online Orientation for Child Custody Recommending Counseling:

Please Note: Effective April 15, 2016 in-person Orientation is no longer available

You are required to attend the online CCRC orientation that will explain terms used in court and CCRC. You may access online orientation by clicking the link below and completing items 2.1 through 2.4. You may access online orientation on your computer, smart phone, tablet or other device. This 30-minute video will explain the process and terms used in child custody recommending counseling and prepare you to make the most of your appointment. By clicking the “Español” flag when you are in the English video, you may listen to the video in Spanish (be sure to pause the English video if you can hear both languages). Subtitles can be accessed in multiple languages by going to settings and selecting your language preference from the drop-down menu. After watching the video content, please complete the orientation exercise. The orientation exercise is also available in Spanish by clicking on the “Español” flag at the top of the page. You are now ready for your CCRC appointment.

Online Orientation for Child Custody

Goals of Child Custody Recommending Counseling:

  1. To help parents create a parenting plan that is in the best interests of their child(ren).
  2. To help parents develop a parenting plan that enables their child(ren) to have contact with both of them, in ways that are appropriate for the safety and wellbeing of the child(ren).
  3. Help parents learn ways to manage any anger or resentment between them.
  4. When there is no agreement, to make recommendations to the parent(s) and the Court that are in the child(ren)’s best interest.

Setting a Date for Child Custody Recommending Counseling

The date and time for child custody recommending counseling will be set by the Court. When your CCRC appointment is scheduled, you will be given a questionnaire requesting information about you, your children, your concerns, your proposals, and other pertinent information. You must fill out this questionnaire and turn it in prior to the CCRC appointment.

If you want to meet separately with the Child Custody Recommending Counselor (Recommending Counselor), you may request this at the Clerk’s Office or from the Recommending Counselor.

If you live more than 120 miles away from the courthouse where you are ordered to appear, or have a documented medical condition that prohibits you from traveling, you may request Telephonic Appearance at Child Custody Recommending Counseling by filling out Local form F-102 at least 5 days before your Child Custody Recommending Counseling appointment.

What Happens in CCRC

CCRC is problem solving and fact finding, not therapy. Your disagreement is seen as a problem to solve, not as a fight. The Recommending Counselor lets you make your own decisions if possible. In CCRC, you can come up with your own personal contract on how you will care for your children. The legal term for this personal contract is an agreement or stipulation. It can also be called a “parenting plan” or a “parenting agreement.” The Recommending Counselor will write up your agreement and the judge will sign it at your court date. If you do not agree, the Recommending Counselor will ask questions using a fact-gathering interview style to gain knowledge and information about concerns each parent raises. Your child(ren) may be interviewed later, at the discretion of the Recommending Counselor. The Recommending Counselor will then write a report with recommendations about how you should share your child(ren).

What Do Child Custody Recommending Counseling Do? 

The Recommending Counselor meets with and listens to both parents, asks questions to gain additional information about the family, then works with you to come up with a plan you can both agree is best for your child(ren). The Recommending Counselor’s job is to be impartial, keep things fair, help look at different options, help you come up with a calendar for times with your child(ren), and support you in your efforts. If you do not agree on a plan, the Recommending Counselor will ask questions to make sure all parental concerns are addressed and make recommendations that are in the children’s best interest. Recommendations may include services for the parents and/or children to engage in.

Placerville Main Street and South Lake Tahoe offer CCRC services in both English and Spanish.

CCRC Rules

  • Each parent is treated with respect and has an equal chance to explain their viewpoint and concerns.
  • Each parent listens to the other and tries to find realistic solutions.
  • Each parent is asked to put the child(ren) first and focus on what the child(ren) needs and can handle.
  • Each parent is asked to show respect for the other and to recognize that their child(ren) has a right to a relationship with each of them.
  • Hitting, pushing, shoving, and threats of any type are not allowed. CCRC is to be a safe place for both parents.
  • The Recommending Counselor’s job is to see that these rules are followed.

Additional Resources Regarding Custody and Parenting Services

Complaint Procedure about Child Custody Recommending Counselor

Pursuant to Local Rule 8.13.00, all complaints raised in connection with the evaluation procedure shall be submitted in writing to the Court. A complaint about a Recommending Counselor may be submitted by letter to the Court Executive Officer with proof of service of a copy to all other counsel and self-represented parties. The complaint must be submitted within 30 days of the child custody recommending counseling session. The Court Executive Officer, or their designee, will conduct an investigation of the matter, which may include consultation with the Recommending Counselor, and shall respond to the complaint in writing to all parties within 30 days.
Child Custody Recommending Counseling Complaint form

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