Family Law Facilitator & Self-Help Center
>> 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.
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)
|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
|Monday – Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
|At our office:||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.
|ALL OTHER ISSUES
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:
|CLICK HERE TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT|
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|
You can download forms at the following web sites. Click on the links below:
- 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.
- 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”).
- 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:
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
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
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.