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Family Law Facilitator & Self-Help Center

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.

More on Family Law Facilitator’s Services

Click on the topics below for more information or jump to Frequently Asked Family Law Questions.

Family Law FAQ

We provide information and help with forms for basic legal issues in family law cases and two types of probate cases: guardianships of the person and limited conservatorships.

The lists below are meant as a guide and not a guarantee of services.

We can help with: We cannot help with:
Child and custody visitation Appeals
Child support Collections, other than for child or spousal support*
Divorce Complex property division
Domestic Violence Restraining Orders Contempt
Earnings Assignment Orders for support Discovery (subpoenas, depositions, interrogatories, admissions, production of documents, motions to quash or compel, etc.)
Grandparent visitation Enforcement of property judgments (writs of execution, liens, levies, etc.)*
Guardianships of the person Evidence
Judgments and Orders After Hearing
(if both parties are self-represented)
General conservatorships
Legal separation Guardianships of the estate
Limited Conservatorships Juvenile dependency
Nullity Name or gender changes*
Parentage (paternity) Non-stepparent adoptions
Requests for Order Non-family law restraining orders (for civil harassment, elder abuse or workplace violence)*
Service of legal papers in Mexico Other areas of law (criminal, general civil, evictions, wills, trusts, tax, etc.)*
Simple property division Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)
Spousal support Service of legal papers in countries other than Mexico
Stepparent adoptions (if the other biological parent consents or is deceased) Termination of parental rights
Voluntary Declarations of Parentage (VDOPs) Unsealing adoption records

*The Civil Self-Help Center helps with a variety of general civil matters, including debt collection, evictions, name and gender changes, non-family law restraining orders and small claims.

NOTICE: Our office will be closed Wednesday, 8/30/2023, through Friday, 9/01/2023. All courthouses will be closed Monday, 9/04/2023, for the Labor Day holiday.


Get walk-in help on a first-come, first-served basis to ask for or oppose a:

• Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Order
• Temporary emergency custody order
• Temporary emergency property control order
• Temporary emergency guardianship
• Continuance (delay) of a hearing or trial

Monday – Thursday

8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.


1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

At our office:

Civil & Family Law Courthouse
3055 Cleveland Avenue Santa Rosa, CA 95403

1. Check in at the kiosk on the first floor next to the vending machines in the lobby.

2. Then, listen and watch for your number to be called on the loudspeaker and displayed on the TV screen.

Get information, forms and instructions or have your forms reviewed by appointment.
Monday – Thursday

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Remote appointments are by phone or on Zoom.

In-person appointments are at our office:

Civil & Family Law Courthouse
3055 Cleveland Avenue Santa Rosa, CA 95403


Ask brief questions about an open case through our e-mail portal.

Send us a message 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We will respond within 3 business days during our regular hours of operation.

On your smart phone, tablet or computer. CLICK HERE TO SEND US AN E-MAIL

If this is your first time filling out legal forms, you may find it helpful to read about the basics of court forms and using fillable forms before you get started.

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 forms packets that can be filled out by hand or on a computer. Each packet contains all of the forms you will need for a specific purpose, like starting a new divorce. Click on the link, 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 individual forms that can be filled out by hand or on a computer. Click on the link and search for forms by topic (e.g. “divorce”), form name (e.g. “Summons”) or form number (e.g. “FL-110”).
  3. Odyssey Guide & File: Odyssey Guide & File is a free online forms preparation program that asks you a series of questions and generates completed forms based on your answers. Click on the link and select the appropriate interview from the menu.

For help on how to file documents at the Family Law & Probate Clerk's office click here.

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

Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit and Instructions

Pleading Paper Template

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

Legal Aid of Sonoma County

  • If you are seeking general assistance: (707) 542-1290
  • If you are seeking a Domestic Violence Restraining Order: (707) 595-6295
  • If you are age 60 or older: (707) 340-5610
  • If you are experiencing homelessness: (707) 843-4432

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 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.

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