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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Family & Children: FLF Self Help Center

Family Law Facilitator's Office (FLF)

The staff of the Family Law Facilitator's Office (FLF) is available, at no cost, to help unrepresented parents and parties who have questions about family law issues. They can help prepare court forms and provide general legal information. The FLF is staffed by court attorneys, paralegals, and clerks with experience in family law. The FLF does not assist parents or parties who have an attorney of record on file. The attorneys at the FLF are not your lawyers, but are neutral court employees who do not represent any parent or party and may provide information and services to all parties in the case.

Help is provided through group workshops and walk in assistance. For walk in assistance, visit the FLF office at the courthouse where your court file is located. For cases assigned to the Madge Bradley courthouse, walk in assistance is not available at that location but is available at the FLF office at Family Court. For the location of FLF offices and hours, click here.

Family Law Workshop Appointments

(FLOW) Family Law Facilitator's Office Online Workshop Reservation System

Don't have time to wait in line? Schedule an appointment online, download the required forms and receive a checklist for the following Family Law Facilitator workshops:

    • Divorce, legal separation, nullity
    • Request for Order (custody/visitation, child support)
    • Finish My Case workshop (settlement agreements, default judgments)

  • Visit to schedule your appointment. Note: If you have been married less than five (5) years, have no minor children together born before or during the marriage, including by adoption, and have limited assets and debts, you may qualify for a Summary Dissolution. In that type of case, both parties sign the Petition together and their divorce is granted automatically six (6) months after filing the Petition. Instructions on how to file a Summary Dissolution case.

Walk in Assistance

Assistance is provided on a first come, first served basis. Sessions for walk in assistance fill up quickly so arrive early and be prepared to wait. For locations and hours of operation, please click here.

Assistance with forms to start an action for divorce, legal separation, or nullity is provided through a workshop, appointment only, and not through walk in assistance. During the FLF divorce workshop you will receive help in a classroom setting filling out the required court forms. Also included in the workshop is a review of the completed paperwork before it is filed to ensure completeness and accuracy. A thorough review of the Petition is especially important because if the Petition is not filled out correctly it can cause substantial delays (like having to amend and re-serve the other party) as well as other problems getting the case to judgment.

If you are unable to attend an FLF divorce workshop, there are general written instructions and a video guide available online at the California Courts website at to assist you. In addition to the forms shown in the instructions and video, there is a local form, Family Law Certificate of Assignment that must be filled out and filed along with the other required court forms. Bring your completed paperwork to the FLF location at the courthouse where you intend to file your action to have them looked over by FLF staff prior to filing. The FLF will conduct a brief review of your paperwork (up to 15 minutes) and will focus on the Summons (JC Form FL-110), Petition (JC Form FL-100), and, if there are minor children, the Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (JC Form FL-105). If the corrections needed are minimal they may be made at the time of the review. If there are substantial corrections or you need further information or instruction outside of the brief review, you may be referred to the FLF divorce workshop for more in depth assistance..

Services provided by FLF

  • Assistance in choosing and completing forms for family law actions
  • Assistance and information regarding:
    • Child custody and visitation
    • Child and spousal support
    • Parentage actions
    • Petitions for divorce, legal separation, nullity, and dissolution of domestic partnership
    • Service of process
    • Modifications of existing orders
    • Response to a court action
    • Formal orders after hearing and judgments
    • Guardianship actions
    • Joinders for custody in an existing family law case when the requesting party is a relative and has the child in his/her custody
    • Wage assignments in family law cases

Services not provided by FLF

  • Assistance with discovery *
  • Assistance with contempt forms *
  • Assistance with subpoenas/subpoenas duces tecum *
  • Most property division and property ownership issues
  • Assistance with trial preparation, except for brief explanation of process and forms
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)
  • Grandparent petitions for visitation
  • Adoptions, including step-parent adoptions
  • Legal research or points and authorities
  • Enforcement, except for wage assignments in family law cases
  • Appeals or writs

*The San Diego Law Library has reference materials and self-help guides available in these areas. To view a list of FREE LEGAL WEBSITES compiled by the San Diego Law Library, see

What to expect when visiting the Family Law Facilitator's Office

Before assistance can be provided, you will be required to fill out and sign an Intake/Disclosure form. The form requests basic information from you, such as your name, address, telephone number, etc., court and case related information, and what type of assistance you are seeking. It also discloses required statutory information about the FLF program. A staff person will review your intake form with you and determine if the assistance you are seeking may be provided by the FLF. If so, procedural assistance will be provided, including guidance on completing court forms and information about the family law court system. If assistance cannot be provided, a referral to an alternate agency or service provider may be given.

How Long Will It Take?

For walk in assistance, depending on the number of individuals in the session and the issues involved, your wait time could be all morning or all afternoon. Priority is given to domestic violence restraining orders and cases just heard in the courtroom and referred to the FLF. If you have an appointment for a workshop, assistance should be completed within the timeframe scheduled for the workshop.

What Should I Bring with Me?

For workshop appointments:

  • Follow the instructions provided in FLOW.
  • Downloaded or purchased court forms as instructed.
  • Completed Intake/Disclosure form.

For walk in assistance:

  • A copy of all court documents relating to your case. Your papers should be organized by date, with the oldest paperwork on the bottom and the newest on the top.
  • For financial issues:
    • Written proof of your income from all sources for the past 12 months
    • Pay stubs for the last two months
    • Your W-2 forms for last year
    • Your latest tax return
    • If you are disabled, proof of your disability and monthly disability income
    • If you are unemployed, proof of your unemployment and monthly unemployment income
    • Information about your monthly expenses
  • Filing fees. Click here to see if you qualify for a fee waiver. In Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) cases, no filing fees are required on support issues.

Envelopes and Stamps

  • To receive a copy of your Findings and Order After Hearing, submit one standard #10 envelope with two postage stamps.
  • Judgment submission requires three standard #10 envelopes, one large 9-1/2 by 12-1/2 manila envelope and fourteen (14) postage stamps.

Finishing Your Case

You started your case by filing your Petition. Now what?

There are two (2) basic steps to finish your case:

  • Step 1: Have the other party properly served with the filed paperwork.
  • Step 2: Obtain a Judgment, via agreement, default or trial.

You don't need to wait until your Self-Represented Family Case Resolution Conference (SFRC) to finalize your case. If you and the other party have a full agreement or if the other party does not file a Response (within 30 days of being served), the FLF may be able to assist you. Assistance is available on a first come, first served, walk in basis or you can sign up online for the Finish My Case workshop at

Child Care

Topics discussed at the Family Law Facilitator's Office may not be appropriate for minor children. While child care facilities are available at each courthouse, space is limited. If you have minor children, you are encouraged to make other child care arrangements while visiting the facilitator's office. If your minor child does accompany you during your visit, please be advised that you may be asked to return at a later date if having your child with you makes it difficult to provide service..

FLF Court Locations to Serve You

Central Courthouse
220 W. Broadway, Room 4001
San Diego, CA 92101

Assistance with all issues in DCSS cases; divorce, paternity, domestic violence restraining orders, child custody, visitation, spousal support, and child support in cases assigned to Dept. 45.

Sign in time: 7:30 a.m. in lobby of courthouse.
Session begins at 8:00 a.m.

South County Courthouse
500 Third Avenue, Room 300
Chula Vista, CA 91910

Divorce, paternity, child custody, visitation, spousal support, non-DCSS child support

Sign in time: 7:30 a.m. in lobby of courthouse.
Session begins at 8:00 a.m.
Closed at noon on Fridays.

Family Court Building
1555 Sixth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Divorce, paternity, domestic violence restraining orders, child custody, visitation, spousal support, non-DCSS child support.

Sign in time: 8:00 a.m. in lobby of courthouse.
Session begins at 8:30 a.m.

North County Courthouse
325 South Melrose Drive
Vista, CA 92081

Divorce, paternity, domestic violence restraining orders, child custody, visitation, spousal support, child support; assistance with all issues in DCSS cases located in North County. Sign in time: 7:30 a.m. in lobby of south entrance to courthouse.

Session begins at 8:00 a.m.

Madge Bradley Building
1409 Fourth Avenue
San Diego, CA 92101

Guardianship forms assistance by
appointment only. Call (619) 450-7642

East County Courthouse
250 E. Main Street
El Cajon, CA 92020

Divorce, paternity, child custody, visitation, spousal support, non-DCSS child support.

Sign in time: 7:30 a.m. at FLF office on second floor of courthouse.
Session begins at 8:00 a.m.

All offices are closed to the public from noon to 1:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
To determine which FLF office to visit check Where to File Your Case.


The Family Law Facilitator's Office offers the following workshops by appointment only:

    • Divorce workshop
    • Request for Order workshop (child custody/visitation, child support)
    • Finish My Case workshop (settlement agreements, default judgments)

To make an appointment for one of these workshops, visit

(No appointment necessary for this workshop)


Days and Times

Family Court, 1555 Sixth Avenue San Diego, CA 92101

Fridays in English, 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Forms assistance by appointment. Call
(619) 450-7642.

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