General Family & Children FAQ

If you choose to represent yourself, the self-help services staff at the Family Law Facilitator's Office can assist you with the preparation of forms and general legal information. However, they cannot represent you in court. Every situation is unique and if your case is complex, you may wish to consult a private attorney for legal representation.

Refer to Self-Help Services to see the types of services available from the Family Law Facilitator's Office. Detailed information can also be located on the California Courts website under the "Self-Help" section at http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.

You cannot "serve" court forms in your own case. The person who serves a copy of your papers to the other parent can be anyone over the age of 18 who is NOT involved in the case.

This includes a:

  • Friend
  • Relative (as long as they are not connected to or affected by the outcome of this court case)
  • County sheriff
  • Professional process server

The court minutes will indicate whether the hearing was reported. If the hearing was reported, the name of the court reporter will be listed. Provide the name of the court reporter to the records or business office where your case is filed and ask for the court reporter's phone number. The court reporter will provide you with the cost and turnaround time for the transcript.

You can hire a translator to do the work by locating one on your own, or you can refer to the California Courts website to locate a state-certified interpreter/translator for your language in San Diego County.

You can either come in person or telephone the clerk at the court location where your case is filed for instructions on requesting a copy of your judgment and/or orders.

No, files cannot currently be viewed online.

Currently, you must file your paperwork at the court location where your case was initiated. Each court location has jurisdiction over matters in the geographical area over which it has authority to decide cases.

If you are trying to enforce the order, you may register an out-of-state order or judgment in California. You may obtain the forms from the Family Court Business Office.
If you wish to modify an out-of-state order or judgment, the state where you obtained your orders may have continuing jurisdiction over your case. You should consult a private attorney or may request information or assistance at one of the Family Law Facilitator Offices in the Family Court nearest your residence.

You can obtain a marriage license at the County Recorder's office.

Yes, you can have your marriage ceremony performed by a judge.  Please arrange to get your marriage license from the County Recorder's office first before calling the court.  Then you can call San Diego Superior Court Judicial Services at (619) 844-2555 for assistance.

There are two types of guardianships, Probate Court Guardianship and Juvenile Court Guardianship. Guardianships are ordered from the Probate Court if neither Juvenile Court nor Family Court has been involved with the child. If the child is a dependent or a ward of the court, Juvenile Court may order a guardianship. If the Family Court has issued a custody order, the Family Court will consider any further orders. You can seek information about the right place to file from the self-help services staff in the Family Law Facilitator's Office.

Adoptions are handled in the Juvenile Court.

Yes. New Petition and Request for Order in person at the counter filings are limited to two cases per transaction.

To request an interpreter, a party should submit the Interpreter Request/Cancellation form (SDSC Form #ADM-348) as far in advance of the hearing as possible. Find more information on the Court’s Language Access page.