Apr 06, 2020

Family Law Facilitator

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




The Family Law Facilitator / Self Help Center helps self-represented people with forms and procedures in custody, divorce, support, and credit card debt collection.  For advocacy services in domestic violence, civil harassment, guardianship and evictions, you are encouraged to contact Legal Aid of Sonoma Count at 542-1290.  If Legal Aid cannot assist you, then contact our office for self-help assistance.

Our services are neutral – we may serve both sides of a case.   We do not provide legal advice or attorneys to represent you.  Our services are not confidential.  There is no attorney-client relationship between you and any staff member.  You should obtain your own attorney if you want personalized advice or strategy, to have a confidential conversation, or to be represented by an attorney at court. The office is not responsible for the outcome of your case.  If you have an attorney of record, we cannot help you.



TELEPHONE:  You will be asked to leave a message.  Calls are returned within 24 hours depending on volume and scheduling.  Please speak clearly, spell your name, leave your case number, and specific questions.   Priority is given to messages with specific questions, case numbers, and those scheduling for workshops or Judgment appointments.  For general information, see the self-help page at the website www.courts.ca.gov. For general questions about the status of your case or filings, call the Family Law Clerk at 521-6630, or the Civil Clerk at 521-6610 for civil filings.
WEBSITE: For general legal information and forms, see the self-help page at the website www.courts.ca.gov. For local rules and procedures, see the General Information tab above.  For local forms, form packets and instructions, see the Forms tab above or the forms link below. For samples, checklists and instructions, see below. 
DROP-IN WORKSHOP:  First come, first serve, Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 12:00pm, and 1:00pm to 5:00pm, except Holidays.   Come before 10 a.m. to provide enough wait time.  There are often lines and we fill early.


INTERACTIVE ASSISTANCE FILLING OUT FORMS ON LINE: An interactive program that will guide you through a series of interview questions which will result in a completed packet for the following subjects: 
•  Beginning Divorce, Nullity or Legal Separation
•  Responding to a Divorce, Nullity or Legal Separation
•  Petition to Establish Parentage or Custody and Support
•  Eviction / Unlawful Detainer Answer
•  Income and Expense Declaration
•  Restraining Order for Domestic Violence
•  Restraining Order for Civil Harassment
•  Petition for Appointment of Guardian
•  Requesting a Limited Conservatorship
•  Small Claims
•  Answer to Eviction/Unlawful Detainer
•  Change of Address Notice
•  Request for Order
Once your packet is completed, you may bring it to the Family Law Facilitator / Self Help Center for review or with any questions you may have before you file it with the clerk. Click Here and you will be transferred to the Odyssey Guide and File website by Tyler Courts and Justice Solution.


WORKSHOPS:  We have a workshop for answering credit card debt collection complaints. Registration is by calling 521-6545 or by drop in.

APPOINTMENTS:  Appointments are restricted to finalizing Judgments in divorces or parentage cases.  Appointments for Judgments are made by telephoning 521-6545 or by drop in.


 Custody, Visitation, Child Support, Spousal Support:   Service is by drop-in. You will need your case number and most recent order if you are seeking a modification. You will need to write a declaration in support of the request you are asking of the court.  See sample declarations below.  For custody and visitation, write your declaration after you visit the Family Court Services page and review the Child Custody Orientation handbook. For spousal support, you may use a Spousal or Partnership Support Declaration Attachment (FL-157).   For child or spousal support, you must also provide a financial declaration – see the Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150).  See the Forms link below. Bring envelopes, postage and the current address of the other party in your case. 

Beginning Parentage:  Service is by drop in.  Bring the child’s name and birth date and the location of the other parent.   Also bring your child’s birth certificate, or a Voluntary Declaration of Paternity, if you have them.   You can request a copy of your Voluntary Declaration of Paternity by emailing askpop@dcss.ca.gov.
Beginning Divorce:  It is recommended that before you begin completing divorce papers that you visit the website at www.courts.ca.gov at the self-help page for divorce and separation where you can find detailed legal information on property, children, and support as well as all of the necessary forms. If you want help from the Self Help Center, we recommend that you purchase a beginning divorce packet at the Family Law Clerks’ office for a few dollars instead of printing them from the website because you will need every form in the packet, and they are printed correctly. Assistance is by drop in.
Finalizing Divorce or Parentage:  Service is by appointment - you may call or drop in to schedule an appointment.   You must have filed a Proof of Service of Summons FL-115 with the court.  For divorces, you must have complied with disclosure requirements.   If you are proceeding by default, at least 30 days must have elapsed since the other party was served with the initial papers.  If you are proceeding by agreement with the other party’s participation, then you must both have complied with disclosure requirements, and have a complete understanding of your agreement on every issue including child custody, visitation, and child support (including a printed child support calculation – see www.childsup.ca.gov for the guideline calculator).  In divorces, you must also have complete understanding of your agreement about property and debt division (including retirement) and spousal support.  The Self Help Center cannot draft complicated agreements or prepare documents dividing retirement.



You can get forms from form packets, local forms and statewide forms. You may also seek online form filling guidance from Guide and File located at this website https://www.occourts.org/self-help/.

Below is helpful information about choosing a form packet, instructions for completing a packet, and checklists if you are preparing for a visit to the FLF/SHC.



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