|NOTE: For any of these court-based programs, if you do not speak English well, ask for an interpreter. If these programs do not have an interpreter who can help you, bring someone to interpret for you. Do not use a child to interpret for you. If you are disabled and cannot travel to the courthouse to get help from one of the self-help programs, you may email, write or telephone the program you need help from, like family law facilitator, the small claims advisor, or the self-help center. This may take more time than going to the office for help. To help you, these programs may need copies of documents and other information from your case file, so be prepared for the process to take longer.|
A family law facilitator is a lawyer with experience in family law who works for the superior court in your county to help parents and children for free.
The family law facilitator gives you educational materials that explain how to:
The family law facilitator can also:
The family law facilitator in your county may be able to help you in other ways, too. Some family law facilitators can help you with divorce, child custody, domestic violence, and other family law issues. Contact your local family law facilitator to learn more.
Click to find the family law facilitator in your county.
Read A Quick Reference Guide to the California Offices of the Family Law Facilitator.
Working with the family law facilitator
To be prepared for how the family law facilitator can help you, read the disclosure form.
To read the disclosure form in Spanish.
To read the disclosure form in Chinese.
To read the disclosure form in Korean.
To read the disclosure form in Vietnamese.
When you meet with the family law facilitator, take:
Most counties are required to have a small claims advisor to give free legal information in small claims cases. The kinds of services offered vary from county to county. The court clerk's office can tell you about the services available in your court.
Find your court’s small claims advisor (SCA).
All courts in California have a self-help center that can provide free legal help to people who do not have a lawyer. How much help you can get, and with what types of legal problems, varies from court to court.
In some courts, the services are very limited, and the self-help center may only be able to help you with a few family law issues beyond child support and paternity (which the family law facilitator can help you with). In other courts, self-help centers may be able to offer more services and not just in family law but for things like evictions, name changes, guardianships, and others.
Not all self-help centers are called “self-help center” but your court clerk will know what you mean if you ask for information on what the self-help center can help you with.
The rules for self-help centers are the same as with other help from your court:
Find your court’s self-help center and get more information about what services they offer.