May 29, 2020

Family Law Facilitator

Location: Civil and Family Law Courthouse, 3055 Cleveland Avenue, Santa Rosa CA 95403
Telephone & E-mail Hours: 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Mon-Fri
(707) 521-6545  *See below for telephone instructions

 

IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING SERVICES

If you have an attorney of record, the Family Law Facilitator’s Office cannot assist you.
Staff at the Family Law Facilitator’s Office can provide legal assistance to help you represent yourself in your family court case.

  • They are not your attorneys.
  • They cannot give you legal advice.
  • They do not go to court with you.
  • They are not responsible for the outcome of your case.

Services at the Family Law Facilitator’s Office are not confidential. There is no attorney-client relationship between you and any staff member.
Services at the Family Law Facilitator’s Office are neutral. Staff may assist both sides of a case.
You should obtain your own attorney if you want legal advice or strategy, to have a confidential conversation or to be represented by an attorney in court.

FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR GUIDE TO REMOTE SERVICES

The Family Law Facilitator’s Office has suspended in-person services until further notice. At this time, we are providing limited assistance in family law matters by phone and e-mail only.

  • Our goal is to respond to voicemails and e-mails within 3-5 business days.
  • Do not submit questions about legal issues that need to be handled immediately.
  • Other issues may be time-sensitive, even though they are not emergencies. Your legal rights may “expire” while you are waiting for an answer from the Family Law Facilitator’s Office.

WHAT KIND OF HELP IS AVAILABLE?

Family Law Facilitator staff can:

  • • Send you blank forms and filing instructions for most family law issues.
  • • Help you complete forms for the following family law issues:
     
  • Temporary emergency custody orders.
  • Temporary restraining orders.
  • Changing a child and/or spousal support order.
  • Temporary guardianships.
  • Limited conservatorships.

 

 

 

 

HOW DO I GET HELP?

You can contact Family Law Facilitator staff:

By Voicemail: (707)521-6545

Leave a message with the following information and a staff member will call you back:

  • Your full name.
  • Your phone number.
  • The other party’s full name.
  • Your case number, if you have one.
  • A brief description of your issue.

By E-Mail:

Fill out our online intake form and a staff member will contact you by e-mail.
*You must have Adobe Reader or a similar PDF document reader to fill in the intake form.
*To save the filled out intake form right click on the filled out form, select "save as" and select a location on your computer to save the document to.
*Select the filled out intake form from your computer and attach that document on an email to the facilitator.

WHERE CAN I GET FORMS AND INSTRUCTIONS RIGHT NOW?

You can download forms at the following web sites. Click on the links below:

  1. Sonoma County Forms Packets: The Sonoma County Superior Court provides fillable forms that can be printed after you complete them on your computer. Scroll down to “Family Law Forms Packets” and select the appropriate packet from the list.
  2. Judicial Council Forms: The Judicial Council of California provides fillable forms that can be printed after you complete them on your computer.
  3. Odyssey Guide & File: This is a free online forms preparation program. Answer a series of questions and forms are generated at the end of the interview.

We have written instructions to help you complete and file most forms. Click on the links below:

Instructions to File a Request for Telephone Appearance

Instructions to File a Summary Dissolution of Marriage

Instructions to File and Serve a Petition

Instructions to File and Serve a Declaration of Disclosure

Instructions to File and Serve a Request for Order

Instructions to File and Serve a Request for Temporary Emergency Custody Orders

Instructions to File and Serve a Responsive Declaration to Request for Order

Instructions to File and Serve a Wage Assignment for Spousal Support

Instructions to File a Stipulation for Custody and Visitation

Instructions to File a Stipulation for Child Support

Reimbursement of Child Care Costs sheet

Reimbursement of Health Care Costs sheet

Sample Custody Declaration

Sample Support Declaration

Sample Profit and Loss Statement

OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What documents can I file while the court is closed?

The Clerk’s Office is accepting all documents for filing.

How do I file documents while the court is closed?

Documents may be submitted for filing by the following methods:
 
Online:
Click here for information about e-filing and to access the e-filing portal.
 
By Mail:
Send your documents via U.S. Mail to:
Family Law Clerk’s Office
Civil & Family Courthouse
3055 Cleveland Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
 
In Person:
Leave your documents in the drop box outside the entrance to the:
Civil & Family Courthouse
3055 Cleveland Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
When filing by mail or via the courthouse drop box, be sure to provide:
1. A check payable to “Superior Court” for any applicable filing fees;
2. The original and two copies of each document you are filing;
AND
3. A self-addressed envelope, with sufficient return postage, for the clerk to use in mailing the filed copies of your documents to you.

How do I calculate the filing fee(s) for my document(s)?

Go to the Statewide Civil Fee Schedule and scroll down to “Family Law Fees” to find your document(s) and the corresponding fee(s).

What if my hearing was or is scheduled for a date when the court is closed?

If you had or have a hearing scheduled while the court is closed, the Clerk’s Office has mailed or will mail to you at the address you have on file with the court a Notice of Rescheduled Hearing with a new date and time for your hearing.
 
All family law hearings will be held remotely until further notice. Together with your Notice of Rescheduled Hearing or in a separate mailing, the Clerk’s Office has mailed or will mail to you a Notice of Remote Hearing with instructions for participating in your hearing remotely via videoconference or telephone.
 
Read your court notices carefully, as you may be required to serve copies of those notices on the opposing party.
 
If you have not received your Notice of Rescheduled Hearing, you may use the court’s internet portal to view the events and hearings that are scheduled in your case. Please note that information about confidential cases is not available online.

What if my Family Court Services appointment was or is scheduled for a date when the court is closed?

If you had or have a Family Court Services appointment scheduled while the court is closed, the Clerk’s Office has mailed or will mail to you at the address you have on file with the court a Notice of Rescheduled Hearing with a new date and time for your Family Court Services appointment.
 
All family law mediations and interviews will be conducted remotely until further notice. Together with your Notice of Rescheduled Hearing or in a separate mailing, the Clerk’s Office has mailed or will mail to you a Notice of Remote Mediation with instructions for participating in your mediation appointment remotely via videoconference or telephone.
 
Read your court notices carefully, as you may be required to serve copies of those notices on the opposing party.
 
If you have not received your Notice of Rescheduled Hearing, you may use the court’s internet portal to view the events and hearings that are scheduled in your case. Please note that information about confidential cases is not available online.

How do I attend my hearing or Family Court Services appointment and still adhere to social distancing practices?

All family law court hearings and mediations will be held remotely until further notice. Before your hearing or mediation appointment date, the Clerk’s Office will mail to you at the address you have on file with the court a Notice of Remote Hearing and/or Notice of Remote Mediation with instructions for participating in your hearing or mediation appointment via videoconference or telephone.
 
All persons authorized to enter any court location must comply with all active orders of the Sonoma County Health Officer, as well as any other health and safety measures required by the court.

What if I have a restraining order that is due to expire while the court is closed?

Temporary Restraining Orders:
 
If your case is scheduled for a remote hearing, the judge will decide at that remote hearing whether or not to extend your restraining order. Please refer to your Notice of Remote Hearing for instructions on how to participate in your hearing remotely via videoconference or telephone. If your restraining order is extended at the remote hearing, the Clerk’s Office will mail your new restraining order to you at the address you have on file with the court.
 
If your case is not scheduled for a remote hearing, your hearing will be automatically rescheduled to a new date and your temporary restraining order will be automatically extended until the new hearing date. The Clerk’s Office will then mail to you at the address you have on file with the court a Notice of Rescheduled Hearing and a Notice of Remote Hearing with instructions for participating in the new hearing via videoconference or telephone. Read your court notices carefully, as you may be required to serve copies of those notices on the other party.
 
“Permanent” Restraining Orders (Restraining Orders After Hearing):
 
If you want to renew a “permanent” restraining order (Restraining Order After Hearing) that is set to expire while the court is closed, you must file a Request to Renew Restraining Order before the expiration date. Once you file your request for renewal, the court will schedule a hearing on your request and will automatically extend your current restraining order until that date.

How can I serve a restraining order during shelter-in-place?

You can request that the sheriff serve the opposing party or hire a process server. The sheriff will serve the restraining order paperwork free of charge. Process server fees vary.
 
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office is currently closed to the public. You may submit a restraining order for service by e-mail, fax or by scheduling an appointment for in-person delivery as described here.

WHERE ELSE CAN I GET FREE OR LOW-COST FAMILY LAW LEGAL ASSISTANCE?

Remote family law legal assistance may be available to you through the following organizations:

Legal Aid of Sonoma County
General: (707) 542-1290
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders: (707) 595-6295
Elder Abuse Restraining Orders (707) 340-5610

 Free Legal Services – Information, legal advice and assistance with applications for restraining orders. Assistance with other family law forms may be available to those who qualify.

Sonoma County Legal Services Foundation
(707) 546-2924

Lawyer Referral Services – If you are a Sonoma County resident and meet income and eligibility guidelines, you can receive referrals to attorneys who will provide services at a reduced rate.

Sonoma County Bar Association
(707) 546-5297

Lawyer Referral Services – For a $50 fee, you will receive a 30-minute consultation with an experienced attorney. There is no obligation to retain the attorney following that consultation, but if you choose to do so, the fee for representation is negotiated directly between you and that attorney.

Department of Child Support Services – Sonoma County
(866) 901-3212

Neutral assistance with establishing parentage and establishing and enforcing orders for child support.

Legal Document Assistants

A legal document assistant (“LDA”) is a non-lawyer authorized to assist with the preparation of legal forms and documents. LDAs can be found in the yellow pages or online and their fees vary. Note: Unlike a paralegal, LDAs do not work under the supervision of an attorney. LDAs are required to register with the Sonoma County Clerk-Recorder’s Office.

 

© 2020 Superior Court of Sonoma County