FAMILY CODE SECTION 2450-2452
2450. (a) The purpose of family centered case resolution is to
benefit the parties by providing judicial assistance and management
to the parties in actions for dissolution of marriage for the purpose
of expediting the processing of the case, reducing the expense of
litigation, and focusing on early resolution by settlement. Family
centered case resolution is a tool to allow the courts to better
assist families. It does not increase the authority of the court to
appoint any third parties to the case.
(b) The court may order a family centered case resolution plan as
provided in Section 2451. If the court orders family centered case
resolution, it shall state the family centered case resolution plan
in writing or on the record.
2451. (a) A court-ordered family centered case resolution plan must
be in conformance with due process requirements and may include, but
is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Early neutral case evaluation.
(2) Alternative dispute resolution consistent with the
requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 3181.
(3) Limitations on discovery, including temporary suspension
pending exploration of settlement. There is a rebuttable presumption
that an attorney who carries out discovery as provided in a family
centered case resolution plan has fulfilled his or her duty of care
to the client as to the existence of community property.
(4) Use of telephone conference calls to ascertain the status of
the case, encourage cooperation, and assist counsel in reaching
agreement. However, if the court is required to issue an order other
than by stipulation, a hearing shall be held.
(5) If stipulated by the parties, modification or waiver of the
requirements of procedural statutes.
(6) A requirement that any expert witness be selected by the
parties jointly or be appointed by the court. However, if at any time
the court determines that the issues for which experts are required
cannot be settled under these conditions, the court shall permit each
party to employ his or her own expert.
(7) Bifurcation of issues for trial.
(b) This section does not provide any additional authority to the
court to appoint experts beyond that permitted under other provisions
(c) The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 2012, adopt a
statewide rule of court to implement this section.
(d) The changes made to this section by the act adding this
subdivision shall become operative on January 1, 2012.
2452. The Judicial Council may, by rule, increase the procedures
set forth in this chapter.