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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Family & Children: Self Help Services/Family Law Facilitator
View Case Information Self Help Services Filing Your Case Forms FAQs
Family Law Facilitator Services During COVID-19

Please note that because of the high demand for remote assistance, our ability to prepare paperwork for customers is extremely limited. Please read below for information on your options.

If you have an existing family law case and need to request new or modified custody, visitation or child support orders, complete the court forms you’ll need by using the online Guide and File program

If you need to start a new divorce, legal separation or nullity case, complete the court forms you’ll need by using the online Guide and File program at or the online Hot Docs program at Please also view the Divorce Workshop video at

If you need to start a new parentage (paternity) or custody and support case, complete the court forms you’ll need by using the online Guide and File program at or the online Hot Docs program at

For helpful information about the legal issues involved in your case and to obtain fillable PDF court forms, visit

The Family Law Facilitator is available for the following assistance to self-represented litigants:

  • Brief informational telephone conferences to discuss your case and to provide guidance about the steps you’ll need to take. To request assistance, please visit

  • Online workshops and video chats. To register, please visit

    A rapid review of your court forms prior to filing at any of the court’s branch locations. This is offered during normal court hours without need for an appointment. Rapid reviews are limited to reviews of completed paperwork.

  • Assistance scheduling an emergency (ex parte) hearing. For assistance, email [email protected] with your name, contact information, case number and an explanation of the emergency.

  • Assistance with court forms that don’t fall into the categories described above. To request assistance, please visit

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 (via Zoom) and remote assistance. Walk in assistance assistance is limited to requests for restraining orders. Visit the FLF office at the courthouse where your court file is located. 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 - start a divorce, legal separation or nullity case
  • Guardianships - start a guardianship
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.

Family Law Facilitator Message Board

Register Now to Access the Message Board! Receive messages from the FLF specific to your case, find your upcoming hearing information, view the Register of Actions for your case, and link to other helpful family law resources. Already registered? Log in here to access your account. Don’t have an account? Sign up by following the instructions below.

The FLF has developed a Message Board (MB) for self-represented litigants to make access to their case information simple and easy to find in one place. To register for the MB, please let Family Law Facilitator staff know when you request assistance. Once your identity is verified (make sure to bring government issued photo identification with you), you will be provided with information to open your case specific account. Click here for more information about the Message Board.


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
    • Adoptions, including step-parent adoptions

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
  • 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?

We are receiving a large volume of requests for remote assistance. Requests are being handled on a first come, first served basis. Family Law Facilitator staff will contact you at the earliest available time but it may take a number of days.

What Should I Bring with Me?

For video workshop appointments:

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

For remote 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

  • Copies of your Findings and Order After Hearing will be mailed to you.
  • To receive copies of documents submitted via mail or drop box, please include a large manila self-addressed stamped envelope.
  • Judgment submission requires one large manila envelope and twelve (12) 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 Case Status Conference (CSC) 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


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
In-person services are currently limited to requests for a restraining order

Central Courthouse
1100 Union Street
San Diego, CA 92101

Fourth Floor, Room 480
Assistance with divorce, parentage, child custody/visitation, child and spousal support, and all issues in Department of Child Support (DCSS) cases.

Sign in time: 8:00 a.m. in lobby of courthouse.
Session begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m.

Fifth Floor, Room 571
Guardianship orientation workshop held every Thursday at 1:00 p.m. at FLF on 4th floor, Room 480. No appointment necessary. Arrive early as space is limited.

Guardianship forms assistance by appointment only.
Call (619) 844-2869 to schedule appointment.

After guardianship petition has been filed, walk-in assistance to file an objection, request termination, seek visitation orders, or correct defects in pleadings is available on Monday afternoons from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in Room 571.

North County Courthouse
325 South Melrose Drive
Vista, CA 92081

Assistance with divorce, parentage, child custody/visitation, child and spousal support, and all issues in Department of Child Support (DCSS) cases.

Sign in time: 8:00 a.m. in lobby of south entrance to courthouse.
Session begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m.

East County Courthouse
250 E. Main Street, 2nd floor
El Cajon, CA 92020

Assistance with divorce, parentage, child custody/visitation, child and spousal support, and all issues in Department of Child Support (DCSS) cases. (Filings in DCSS cases must be done at the Central Courthouse.)

Sign in time: 8:00 a.m. in lobby of courthouse.
Session begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m.

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

Assistance with divorce, parentage, child custody/visitation, child and spousal support, and all issues in Department of Child Support (DCSS) cases. (Filings in DCSS cases must be done at the Central Courthouse.)

Sign in time: 8:00 a.m. in lobby of courthouse.
Session begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.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

(For more information, click here)
(No appointment necessary for this workshop)


Days and Times

Family Law Facilitator's Office
Central Courthouse
1100 Union Street, 4th floor
San Diego, CA 92101

Thursdays in English, beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Forms assistance by appointment. Call
(619) 844-2869.

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