Either party can file a Request for Order to have the court make a temporary child custody, visitation and/or support order. This triggers the court scheduling a mandatory mediation sessions. Some courts also require the parties to attend a pre-mediation class or a parenting class.  Most child custody disputes are settled through the mediation process. If the parties do not reach an agreement through mediation, the matter will go before a Judge. The mediator will present the Judge with their recommendation. Often the Judge will go along with the mediator’s recommendation. Once a parenting plan has been put into place, the judge can then set a child support order. Many factors are considered when ordering child support. This includes the amount of time each parent spends with the child(ren), each parent’s income and expenses, and the children’s living expenses.