All services are free to the public. Services include: intake, information and referral to legal services partners in the local community; individual assistance with legal document preparation; bilingual assistance and legal reference materials for non-English speakers; and assistance in conducting self-guided legal research. Staff are also available to provide information on how to file various kinds of legal documents, serve opposing parties, and explain court procedures and legal terminology, as well as giving the public tips on how to prepare for and what to bring to court appearances.
For further information on family law issues, please select from the following:
- Family Law Case Types
- Family Law Mediation Program
- Domestic Violence
- Restraining Orders
Legal Self Help Resources Available on the InternetOver the past several years, numerous legal self-help programs have become available over the Internet. Here are links to some of these resources:
California Courts Self Help Center - This is the Judicial Council of California’s self help services website. Information is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean and Chinese. This tool provides assistance with family law, small claims, domestic violence, elder issues, traffic matters, evictions, bankruptcy, conservatorships, guardianships and many more types of cases.
I-Can! Legal California.
Help with Family Law Paperwork:You can pick up the forms you will need at the courthouse for a fee, or you can download them here:
De Facto Parent Packet
- This packet requires these forms (click to view & download)
Dissolution/Legal Separation/Nullity Packets
Assistance with these forms is available by appointment through the Family Court Self-Help Center. The telephone number is 707-445-7256, x1321.
SET ONE (click to view and download)
SET TWO (click to view and download)
- FL-107-INFO - Legal Steps for a Divorce (Dissolution)
- FL-100 - Petition – Marriage
- FL-311 - Child Custody and Visitation Application Attachment
- FL-110 - Summons
- FL-115 - Proof of Service of Summons
- FL-120 - Response – Marriage
- FL-105 - Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
- Children of Divorce Workshop Registration Form **
- FL-314Info - Child Custody Information Sheet** Not a Judicial Council Form
SET THREE (click to view and download)
- FL-170 - Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution
- FL-130 - Appearance, Stipulation and Waivers
- FL-141 - Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration
- FL-180 - Judgment
- FL-341 - Child Custody and Visitation Order Attachment
- FL-355 - Stipulation and Order for Custody and/or Visitation of Children
- FL-342 - Child Support Information and Order Attachment
- FL-350 - Stipulation to Establish or Modify Child Support and Order
- FL-192 - Notice of Rights and Responsibilities
- FL-343 - Spousal, Partner, Or Family Support Order Attachment
- FL-345 - Property Order Attachment To Judgment
- FL-190 - Notice of Entry of Judgment
- FL-191 - Child Support Case Registry Form
Request For Order Packet
- This packet requires these forms (click to view and download)
- FL-300-INFO - Information Sheet for Request for Order
- Local Rules - Pertinent Local Rules
- Appendix 8.2 - Local Rules - Family Law Policy Statement
- Appendix 8.7 - Local Rules - Spousal Support Schedule
- FL-300 - Request for Order
- FL-305 - Temporary Orders
- FL-311 - Child Custody And Visitation Application Attachment
- FL-150 - Income And Expense Declaration
- FL-105 - Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)
- FL-330-INFO - Information Sheet for Proof of Personal Service
- FL-330 - Proof of Personal Service
- FL-335-INFO - Information Sheet for Proof of Service by Mail
- FL-335 - Proof of Service by Mail
- Notice to Responding Party
- FL-320 - Responsive Declaration to Request for Order
Case TypesPLEASE NOTE: For dissolution of marriage or legal separation in California, there are only two legal grounds. The first is "irreconcilable differences", meaning that at least one party asserts that the marriage cannot be saved. The other reason is "incurable insanity" which, unlike irreconcilable differences, must be proven.
Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce): A dissolution of marriage, which is more commonly known as divorce, terminates the marriage and resolves marital issues including child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, asset and debt division (real and personal property), former name restoration, restraining orders, and other issues identified by the parties.
Summary Dissolution: If you and your spouse are in agreement that you want to divorce you may be able to obtain a summary dissolution. The criteria for a summary dissolution include:
- You were married for under five years,
- There were no children born during the marriage,
- You have very few community assets and debts.
Legal Separation: Legal separation is similar to dissolution of marriage, except that the parties remain married to each other. The court may make orders regarding the same issues identified in a dissolution of marriage.
If you open a legal separation action, you may amend your petition prior to judgment to request a dissolution of marriage. That will allow you to "start the clock" on the waiting period for divorce (six months from date of service), provided that you follow some special instructions.
Nullity: A nullity is more commonly known as an annulment of marriage. This may only be requested if a party alleges incest, bigamy, minor without parental consent, unsound mind, fraud, force or incapacity to consummate marriage.
Domestic Partnerships: Dissolution of a domestic partnership terminates the partnership. You must be a resident of the state of California, both parties do not have to agree to the dissolution and it takes a minimum of six months for this action to become final.
Child and Spousal Support: To obtain or modify family support orders, establish parentage, or enforce existing family support orders, the Department of Child Support Services is available to assist you. Information concerning this office is available at www.childsup.ca.gov.
Adoptions: Private and Stepparent: Before granting a petition for adoption, the court authorizes an investigation of the adoptive parents(s), regardless of whether they are related to the children or stepparents. Parties are required to pay for these investigations. Typically, the court will also consider petitions to terminate parental rights of the parent(s) who are relinquishing their children in this process.
Domestic Violence: Parties alleging domestic violence may file for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. Domestic violence forms that you can complete on line are available at http://www.courts.ca.gov/1271.htm. Or click here.
Establishment of Parental Relationship: These are also called "paternity cases". The court may make findings or parental relationship in these matters that will have an effect on child support. visitation and custody.
Child Custody, Support and Visitation: Even after marital and domestic partnership issues have been resolved, the court retains jurisdiction over issues that affect minor children in these proceedings until these children reach 18 years of age (or 19 years of age if still in high school). Parties may file motions to modify custody, support and visitation any time the circumstances warrant such filings.
Emancipation of Minors: A minor may petition the court for a declaration of emancipation if the minor is at least 14 years of age, willingly lives separately from parents, and managing his own personal financial affairs.