Family Law Facilitator

"Helping unrepresented parties through the family court process"

Introduction

The Office of the Family Law Facilitator provides assistance to unrepresented parties in child and spousal support cases. The goal of the Family Law Facilitator is to provide direction to the unrepresented party.

The Family Law Facilitator is available to assist unrepresented parties who have questions about family law issues, including:

  • Child support;

  • Spousal support;

  • Parentage;

  • Health insurance; and

  • The availability of community resources to help families.

The Family Law Facilitator can help you in preparing your own forms, and can give you general information.  We cannot go with you to court.

Services Provided by the Facilitator

The Facilitator's Office provides forms, samples, and information in the following areas:

  • How to obtain or change child support, spousal support, and health insurance orders, including information regarding support amounts based upon statutory guidelines;

  • How to obtain or contest a wage assignment;

  • How to calculate child and spousal support;

  • How to set a hearing on child or spousal support arrears;

  • How to set a hearing to reinstate suspended driver's license and other licenses in child support cases;

  • How to enforce child and spousal support orders;

  • How to complete orders and judgments in family law cases;

  • How to establish paternity; including information regarding genetic testing and referrals to community agencies;

  • How to complete answers and responsive declarations to the Department of Child Support Services complaints and motions; motions to set aside (cancel) judgments, fee waiver applications, income and expense declarations, and wage assignments;

  • How to begin, modify, and finish a family law case;

  • Provide referrals to other community agencies and resources that offer services for parents and children; and

  • Mediate child support, spousal support, and health insurance issues between the parties.

WHAT IS A FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR?

The Family Code requires the Superior Court in each of California's 58 counties to maintain an Office of the Family Law Facilitator to provide self represented parties with education, information, and assistance with child support, spousal support, and health insurance issues. These services are available at no charge.

Each court appoints a California-licensed attorney with mediation/litigation experience in family law to head the office, and appoints additional attorneys and support staff depending upon need and available resources.

The attorney in the Office of the Family Law Facilitator does not represent any party, and no attorney-client privilege exists between the attorney in this office and the individuals seeking assistance. The attorney is neutral and is available to see parties on both sides of a dispute who need assistance regarding their family law cases. The Office of the Family Law Facilitator is prohibited from assisting parties who are represented by private attorneys or who have an attorney of record in their family law matters.

HOW DO I GET TO SEE THE FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR?

Parties needing assistance with child support, spousal support, or health insurance matters can meet individually with a staff member on an appointment basis. At this meeting, the staff person will assist the party in identifying the rules and procedures necessary to achieving that parties' objective, and will assist that party in preparing the necessary documentation. Depending upon the complexity of the matter, more than one visit may be required.

For parties seeking assistance with other family law matters, such as dissolution of marriage, private paternity actions, restraining orders, or custody and visitation issues, the scope of assistance is more limited. However, with regard to these issues, the staff will provide basic substantive and procedural information, referrals, and the necessary legal forms.

The staff is available to review work that customers have completed on their own.  A customer needing document review may call for an appointment or drop-in on a first come, first served basis.

Disclosure

The Family Law Facilitator is not your lawyer. Communications between you and the Family Law Facilitator and staff is not confidential and no attorney-client relationship between you and the Facilitator is established. We may provide information and services to the other party in your case.  You should consult with a private attorney if you want personalized advice, need a confidential conversation, or need representation in court.

The Family Law Facilitator and staff are not responsible for the outcome of your case.

WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?

  • A copy of all court documents related to your case, particularly any current judgments or orders. At the very least, please provide the staff with your case number if you have an existing case.

  • Any papers, documents, and letters that you have received from the Department of Child Support Services, or from the other party concerning your case.

  • Copies of your last three paycheck stubs, as well as information regarding any other income earned by either yourself or the other party.

  • W-2 forms for the last year, and your filing status. If you are self-employed, please provide a copy of your federal tax return, including your Schedule C, and your profit and loss statement.

  • An estimate of your monthly living expenses, including housing, utilities, insurance, food, transportation, education, clothing, daycare expenses, and any extraordinary expenses related to health care and catastrophic losses.

  • Names and birthdates of your children and an estimate of your custodial/visitation time with each child.

RELATED RESOURCES

Family Law Facilitator - Self Help Center
(English) or (Spanish)
California Court On-Line Self-Help Center
www.tuolumnecounty.ca.gov (DCSS-Department of Child Support Services)C
Self help publications, software, legal information and forms: http://nolo.com/

If you still have questions, e-mail Family Law Facilitator

OFFICE OF THE FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR

LOCATION:

Superior Court of California

County of Tuolumne

Historic Courthouse

41 West Yaney Avenue (first floor)
Sonora, CA 95370

Telephone: 209/533-6565

Fax: 209/533-6623

© 2009 Superior Court of California, County of Tuolumne