Questions

 Answers

Where is Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) located?
Our address is:  119 West Central Avenue, Coolidge, Az 85128
Phone number: 520-766-7349
Email:  mediator@pinalcountyaz.gov
What are your hours?
Our office hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Court holidays include:
  • New Year’s Day
  • Martin Luther King Day
  • President’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Columbus Day
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
What are the qualifications for professional staff?
Clinical Staff have a Master’s degree in a mental health or related field and at least two years experience in counseling or social work.
Are there any fees for your services?
There are no fees for any of the services offered at Family Services of the Conciliation Court if you have a case in Family Court. If you are sent to Family Services of the Conciliation Court by a Judge, and you do not come to your appointment, you will be charged a fee for failing to appear for your appointment.
What services does Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) provide?
  • FSCC can help you resolve child custody and parenting time disputes without going to court
  • FSCC can help you change your parenting time court orders, especially when both parents agree
  • FSCC provides court-ordered child custody assessment/evaluation
  • FSCC provides court-ordered child custody and parenting time mediation
  • FSCC can provide counseling for spouses who are considering or who are in the process of divorce
  • FSCC provides parent education
The other parent and I agree to change parenting time of our child. Can Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) help us?
Yes. You can ask to attend mediation. If both you and the other parent agree to attend mediation you can complete the Joint Request for Mediation. If only one parent wants to request mediation, and you know the other parent’s address, you can complete the Mandatory Request for Mediation form. You must mail the form to Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) and the other party.
What is Conciliation Counseling?
Conciliation Counseling is offered by the Superior Court under the authority of Arizona law (ARS§ 25-381) for spouses who are considering or who are in the process of divorce. The focus of this brief counseling is to assist spouses in making an informed and thoughtful decision regarding their future. A petition for Conciliation Counseling puts a stay or hold on the divorce for up to 60 days; and petitions for annulment, dissolution of marriage or legal separation cannot be filed during that time period.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a meeting with a mediator to try and reach an agreement about child custody and parenting time. In mediation, parents are encouraged to talk about their present and future plans, as well as the needs of their child(ren) in an open and problem-solving manner. The mediator is neutral and objective. His/her role is to help you work together to resolve problems about child custody and parenting time. Mediation is confidential and no information or recommendations from the sessions will be told to the judge or attorneys. You will be asked to sign the mediation guidelines and complete the questionnaire.
Can I ask for mediation without going to the Judge?
Yes, if you have a case in Pinal County Superior Court. You can request mediation if you need help in resolving a problem with custody or parenting time. If both you and the other parent agree to attend mediation you can complete the Joint Request for Mediation. If only one parent wants to request mediation, and you know the other parent’s address, you can complete the Mandatory Request for Mediation form. You must mail the form to Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) and the other party.
Why did the judge send us to mediation?
The Judge sent you to mediation because you have a dispute regarding child custody and parenting time. The Judge wants you and the other parent to have the chance to cooperate and resolve problems involving the care of your children.
Will I have to meet with the other party?
Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) mediators will determine if a joint meeting is appropriate. If there is an Order of Protection in place, mediators will meet with the parties individually at first to determine whether to proceed with mediation. In accordance with the Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedures, Rule 68 (B), each party has the right to request that reasonable procedures be in place at the mediation to protect a victim of domestic violence. We have protective procedures. Please call to request arrangements.
What if the other parent fails to appear for the mediation appointment?
The mediator will only attempt to reschedule if there is good cause for the missed appointment. Otherwise, mediation may end and the mediator will report the missed appointment to the judge. The mediator may also recommend that the Court charge a no-show fee of $166.00.
What if I must reschedule my mediation conference?
You need to contact Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) immediately. Under certain circumstances, mediation appointments can be rescheduled with the agreement of all parties. If all parties are not in agreement to reschedule the mediation, the mediation appointment will continue as scheduled. If you have a pending court date, it may not be possible to reschedule your appointment.
Who can attend the mediation conference?
Typically, the parents and the mediator are the only people included in mediation; however the mediator may include other parties under certain circumstances.
What happens if we reach an agreement in mediation?
If you reach a full or partial agreement in mediation, Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) will prepare a parenting plan outlining your agreements. The agreement will be mailed to you so you can review the document and determine if the agreement is accurate. After a 10 day objection period, if no objection is filed, the plan will be forwarded to the Judge for final approval and to become a court order. If an objection is filed by one of the parties, the mediator will contact the parties and attempt to resolve the areas in dispute.
How do I file an objection to my mediation agreement?
If you reached an agreement in mediation and now want to file an objection, complete this form. You need to give this form to Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) and the other party. The objection form must be received at Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) on or before the final objection period date.
What happens if we do not reach an agreement in mediation?
If you do not reach an agreement, Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) will report to the Judge that you participated in mediation, but no agreement resulted.
Are children interviewed in mediation?
Children are typically not interviewed in mediation since the goal is to help the parents reach an agreement regarding their child(ren)’s care.
How long do I have to wait to file for mediation again after our last mediation?
Typically six months, however, there may be exceptions.
Do I need to bring evidence to my mediation appointment?
Since mediation is confidential and geared towards problem solving, there is no need to provide evidence or documentation.
How do I get a custody evaluation?
Custody evaluations are usually ordered by the Judge. The Judge may order parents to participate in a private custody evaluation or to Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) for a Child Custody and Parenting Review.
Why did the Judge order us to attend a Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference?
The purpose of the Child Custody and Parenting Review is to provide information to the Judge so he or she can make informed decisions regarding the best interests of your children. The Child Custody and Parenting Review report will provide information regarding parental concerns. It will address your children’s residential arrangements, the amount of time they spend with each parent, and how you as the parents might assume decision-making responsibility for your children. Because the Judge needs information about your family, the information obtained during the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference is not confidential.
What is a Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference?
A Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference usually includes a joint meeting with the parents. It may also include interviews of your child(ren) and/or observations of parents interacting with the child(ren), an individual interview of each parent, and other people involved with the family. You will be asked to read and sign the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference guidelines and complete a detailed questionnaire before meeting with our evaluator.
What do I need to bring to the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference?
You will need to fill out the questionnaire and bring it with you to your Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference. You will also need to bring all documentation from law enforcement, Child Protective Services, or probation if any of these agencies have been involved with you or the other parent. You must provide a copy of any documentation to the other parent.
Do I need to bring the children to the first appointment?
No. Please do not bring your children until the counselor asks you bring them.
At what age are children interviewed?
The evaluator will determine how to involve your children. Typically children under five are not interviewed; however, the evaluator may observe young children interacting with the parents in a playroom.
What if the other parent fails to appear for the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference?
The evaluator will only attempt to reschedule if there is good cause for the missed appointment. Otherwise, the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference will end and the evaluator will report the missed appointment to the judge. The evaluator will also recommend that the Court charge a no-show fee of $166.00.
What if I must reschedule my Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference?
You need to contact Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) immediately. Under certain circumstances, Child Custody and Parenting Review Conferences can be rescheduled with the agreement of all parties and if there is no pending court date. If all parties do not agree to reschedule the Child Custody and Parenting Review Conference, the appointment will continue as scheduled. If you have a pending court date, it may not be possible to reschedule your appointment.
What if I am afraid to be interviewed with the other parent?
Immediately notify Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) if you fear for your safety or are afraid to be interviewed with the other parent. If you can, call before your appointment and ask to speak to the evaluator assigned to your case, or let the receptionist know as soon as you arrive for your appointment. The evaluator may need to interview you individually to determine how best to proceed under the circumstances.
Why did the Judge order me to attend the Parent Information Class?
You are required to attend the class by law (ARS§ 25-351) if you are involved in a divorce, legal separation, or paternity case in which a party requests that the Court determine custody, parenting time, or child support modification or enforcement.
When and where are the classes held?
We usually have one class every week, either on Wednesday or Thursday, from 9:00am – 1:00pm, or 12:00pm – 4:00pm. We also have a Saturday class available once a month from 9:00am – 1:00pm. Classes are held at the Pinal County Superior Courthouse, 971 Jason Lopez Circle, Florence, AZ.
Is there a fee for the class?
You must pay a $40.00 fee to the Clerk of the Superior Court and bring your receipt with you to the class. You can also request a fee deferral from the Clerk of the Superior Court.
How do I pay for the Parent Education Class?
Online
Make payment via website: www.officialpayments.com 
 
By Mail as follows: 
  • Obtain a cashier's check or money order for $40.00 payable to Clerk of the Superior Court. Personal checks are not accepted.
  • Write your court case number on the cashier's check or money order.
  • Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope to have your receipt sent to you.
Clerk of the Superior Court
Parent Education Course
P.O. Box 2730
Florence, AZ 85132-2730

In Person
Clerk of the Superior Court Offices:
Florence - 971 Jason Lopez Dr. Building A Tel: 520.866.5300
Apache Junction - 575 N. Idaho, Ste. 109 Tel: 480.982.4166
Casa Grande - 820 E. Cottonwood Ln., # B Tel: 520.836.1073
Mammoth - Services Temporarily Closed

If you are seeking a Fee Deferral you will need to contact the Clerk of Court at any of Clerk’s offices.
How do I sign up to take the class?
You can register to take the class several ways. Please have your Pinal County Superior Court case number available. Pre-registration is required. Bring photo I.D and proof of payment to the class. Please arrive 15 minutes early. No children are allowed in class. Classroom may be cold, bring sweater or jacket. You must attend the entire 4-hour class to receive a certificate and comply with the law.
What are the qualifications of the instructors?
The Supreme Court has established standards for the course, including minimum qualifications for the presenters. The presenter must have a graduate degree and relevant experience in a number of areas including child welfare, family dynamics, family law, family protective orders and domestic violence
Can Parents attend the same class?
You can take the class together if both parents agree to attend the class together and there has never been any domestic violence or Order of Protection.
What if I cannot attend the parent education class in person?
You may be eligible to take the class via VHS or DVD. Complete the Parent Education Video Request return it to Family Services of the Conciliation Court (FSCC) or email mediator@pinalcountyaz.gov with your request. You must pay the $40.00 fee or obtain a fee deferral and provide the receipt before the VHS or DVD will be mailed to you. You will also need to complete and return a written test before you receive your certificate.
What is an Early Resolution Conference?
An Early Resolution Conference is an opportunity for both parties to come to court, meet with the other party to discuss with the assistance of a neutral third party all of the issues of the case and possibly resolve all of the issues in their case.
What cases are included in the Early Resolution Program?
Only cases of Dissolution, Legal Separation, First Orders for Paternity, Custody, Parenting Time and Child Support are included in the ERC program.
Is the Judge also at the ERC?
No, the ERC is not like a trial. The Judge is not present. The ERC is more informal. The ERC is not recorded by a court reporter. The ERC is not confidential.
Can my friend or family member attend the ERC with me?
No. Only the parties to the case may attend and participate in the case.
Do I have to hire an attorney?
No. The Early Resolution Conference Program is for self-represented parties. However, in the event one or both parties retain attorneys after the Petition and/Response are filed and served but before the ERC is set, the ERC will still be held and hopefully one or more of the issues will be resolved.
What if I need an interpreter at the ERC?
You must call 520-866-7349 to an interpreter. Do not wait until the day of the ERC to make your request .
If the other party and I are in full agreement, do we still need to come to the ERC?
You must attend the ERC unless you and the other party have submitted your Consent Decree with all attachments prior to the ERC date and you have notified the Conciliation Court that you have submitted your Consent Decree paperwork. Or if you and the other party agree to reconcile you may file a Stipulation of Dismissal of your case.
What happens if one of the parties does not appear for the ERC?
If one party fails to appear for the ERC then the case will proceed and it will be set for a possible Default hearing. You and the other party will be notified of the date and time of the hearing.
How long will the ERC last?
You should plan for approximately two (2) hours.
Can I bring my children to the ERC?
Do not bring children to the ERC.
Is there an extra charge for the ERC?
There is no extra charge for the ERC. However, if you fail to appear for the ERC, you may be charged a No Show Fee of $166.00.
What if I am unable to appear on the date of the ERC?
For good cause only, or by agreement of the parties the ERC may be reset. This is very rare. Do not make a frivolous request.
What if I live outside of the state of Arizona or I am incarcerated and cannot personally appear? Will I be allowed to appear by telephone?
If you make a written request in the time allotted in the Order to Appear you may be given permission to appear by telephone. Routine requests for convenience are discouraged.
What forms do we need to complete for the ERC?
When your case is set for an ERC, you will be mailed an Order to Appear and a Resolution Statement Form. The Order to Appear includes a list of papers and documents for you to bring with you to the ERC. You must complete the Resolution Statement Form and return it to the Conciliation Court 5 days prior to the ERC date.

Also you must bring the following information with you:
  • PHOTO ID
  • SELF ADDRESSED 9 X 12 ENVELOPE WITH AT LEAST 3 POSTAGE STAMPS
  • Copies of Federal and State income tax returns (Personal, Partnership, and Corporate), as well as schedules, attachments, W-2’S and 1099’S for the past two years.
  • Copies of pay stubs or statement of earnings for the past six months.
  • Copies of the most recent statements reflecting the amount of any benefits received such as Social Security, SSI, AFDC, TANF, (formerly AFDC), unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation, trust income, retirement benefits and the like.
  • Proof of actual paid court ordered child support for child(ren) other than the child(ren) in this case, for example, payment histories or the amount contributed by the custodial parent.
  • Proof of actual paid court-ordered spousal maintenance.
  • Proof of medical insurance premium actually paid by the parent (for the child(ren) involved in this case only).
  • Proof of reasonable and necessary expenses for attending private or special schools or necessary expenses to meet particular educational needs (for the child(ren) involved in this case only).
  • Proof of actual child care costs (for the child(ren) involved in this case only).
  • Proof of costs for extraordinary child(ren) (gifted, handicapped or special needs) for the child(ren) involved in this case only.
  • Proof of name of current employer and payroll address.
  • Most recent statements of all Accounts (Banks, Credit Cards, Loans, Mortgages, Trusts, Retirement, Pensions, 401K’s, Student loans),including account name, number and outstanding balance.
  • Any current Order of Protection issued out of Pinal County.
What if we agree to some things but not everything?
At the conclusion of the ERC, you will sign an agreement which will include all of the issues that you agreed upon. Agreements reached during the ERC which are included in the Agreement will not be included in your trial. Only those issues that you have not been able to agree upon by the time of your trial will be decided by the Judge at trial.
What forms do I need to complete to prepare for my Trial?

If you have children, you must complete
  • Joint Pretrial Statement Form
    • Must be fully completed and signed by both parties
    • Each party is responsible for completing their portion of this form
    • Make three copies – one for the Petitioner, one for the Respondent, one for the Judge
    • You must give the other party a final copy
  • An Affidavit of Financial Information
    • Each party must complete and sign this form
    • Make three copies – one for the Petitioner, one for the Respondent, one for the Judge
    • You must give the other party a final copy
  • Child Support Worksheet
    • Each party must compete a separate worksheet if you disagree about child support
    • Submit one child support worksheet
    • Make three copies – one for the Petitioner, one for the Respondent, one for the Judge
    • You must give the other party a final copy
  • Parenting Plan
    • Each party must compete a separate parenting plan if you disagree about child custody and parenting time
    • Submit one parenting plan signed and dated by both parties if you agree about custody and parenting time
    • Make three copies – one for the Petitioner, one for the Respondent, one for the Judge
    • You must give the other party a final copy
  • Inventory of Property and Debt
    • Each party must complete a separate inventory if you disagree about property and debt.
    • Submit one inventory signed and dated by both parties if you agree about custody and parenting time
    • Make three copies – one for the Petitioner, one for the Respondent, one for the Judge
    • You must give the other party a final copy
    • Exhibits and Witnesses
    • Each party must provide a list of all exhibits and witnesses
    • Make three copies – one for the Petitioner, one for the Respondent, one for the Judge
    • You must give the other party a final copy
If you do not have children, you must complete
  • Joint Pretrial Statement Form
    • Must be fully completed and signed by both parties
    • Each party is responsible for completing their portion of this form
    • Make three copies – one for the Petitioner, one for the Respondent, one for the Judge
    • You must give the other party a final copy
  • An Affidavit of Financial Information
    • Each party must complete and sign this form
    • Make three copies – one for the Petitioner, one for the Respondent, one for the Judge
    • You must give the other party a final copy
  • Inventory of Property and Debt
    • Each party must complete and sign a separate inventory if you disagree about property and debt.
    • Submit one inventory signed by both parties
    • Make three copies – one for the Petitioner, one for the Respondent, one for the Judge
    • You must give the other party a final copy
  • Exhibits and Witnesses
    • Each party must provide a list of all exhibits and witnesses
    • Make three copies – one for the Petitioner, one for the Respondent, one for the Judge
    • You must give the other party a final copy
What is a Parent Coordinator?
A Parenting Coordinator is a professional appointed by the Court to assist parents in resolving disputes about parenting their children and to make recommendations to the Court for orders if the parents are unable to reach a resolution. When a dispute is presented to the Parenting Coordinator, the Parenting Coordinator may try to assist parents in reaching a resolution.

The Parenting Coordinator might want to obtain other information such as the children’s opinion, information from doctors, therapists, schools or other caretakers. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the Parenting Coordinator then makes a recommendation to the Court for an order
Why did the Judge order a Parent Coordinator?

Parents may need a Parenting Coordinator when other avenues of problem resolution have not worked and there are continued disagreements regarding issues such as schedules, overnight parenting time, choice of schools, extracurricular activities, exchanging the children, holiday scheduling, the handling of the children’s behavior, religious training, health issues, and problematic behaviors on the part of one or both parents.  Many times, the family has already participated in a custody and parenting time evaluation. Using a Parenting Coordinator to resolve disputes and help make recommendations to the Court about your children can be a useful alternative to repeatedly going to Court.

Parenting Coordinator’s goals are somewhat different than those of a Judge.  A Judge’s job is to make orders that are based on the law, including the best interests of the children.  A Parenting Coordinator’s job is to assist parents in making parenting decisions in the best interests of the children and in accordance with the parenting plan, as set forth in the decree or current court order. Whenever possible, a major goal is to help families develop skills so they do not need a Parenting Coordinator.

What issues can the Parent Coordinator resolve?
The Parent Coordinator shall not have the authority to make recommendations affecting child support, a change in custody or a substantial change in parenting time. A PC shall only have the authority that is delegated in the Court Order or the consent provided by the parties. The following issues can be addressed by the PC if the Court Order grants the PC authority or by consent of the parties, but they are not limited to:
  1. Minor change or clarification of parenting time, including holidays, vacation, or temporary variation from the existing plan
  2. Transitions and/or the exchange of the children including date, time, place and means of transportation or general travel
  3. Health management issues including medical dental, orthodontic and vision care
  4. Child rearing issues
  5. Psychotherapy or other mental health care including substance abuse assessment, psychological testing, or counseling for the children or parents
  6. Education or daycare including location, tutoring, summer school, participation in special education testing or programming or other major educational decisions
  7. Extracurricular or enrichment activities including enrollment in sports, camps, or jobs
  8. Religious Issues
  9. Personal appearance changes including clothing or alteration of appearance
  10. Parental communication including telephone, email, notes, etc.
  11. Contact with significant others and/or extended family members
  12. Access to the children’s records, including medical, dental, mental health, and education
  13. Parenting classes for either or both parents
How do I contact my Parent Coordinator?

Contact your Parent Coordinator by email at Mediator-Pinal@courts.az.gov or by fax at 520-866-7354.  You must include the other parent in all correspondence that you send to the Parent Coordinator.

You must include your name and case number on all correspondence to the Parent Coordinator.

Is there a fee for Parent Coordination?
Currently there is a $50 per person fee for Parent Coordination.  The Court Ordered fee must be paid at the Clerk of the Court’s office before you attend the required Parent Coordination orientation.
How do I ask for help from the Parent Coordinator?
A party seeking relief shall set forth the following information:
  • The specific relief requested
  • The specific Court Order or other basis on which the request for relief is based
  • Complete the Request for Relief online or download the form.
  • Include in your request evidence that a copy of your request was sent to the other party
  • Include a description of any other issues you need assistance with not listed on the Request for Relief.
  • Include your name and case number on all correspondence.
What should I do if the other parent has asked for help from the Parent Coordinator?
A party who receives a Request for Relief from the other party should:
  • Respond within 7 days unless the Parenting Coordinator (PC) grants an extension
  • Include in your response evidence that a copy of your response was sent to the other party.
  • Include in your response whether the relief should be granted or denied in whole or in part
  • State the reason why you believe the relief should be granted in whole or in part or denied
  • Include other facts that might be important to your case
  • Include your name and case number on all correspondence.
When is the Parenting Coordinator available?
Parent Coordinators are available only Monday – Friday. Parent Coordinators are not available on evenings or weekends.  If an emergency situation should arise, contact the appropriate person - your attorney, police, CPS, etc.