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Family Law Facilitator

The Office of the Family Law Facilitator is staffed by attorneys who work for the Superior Court.  They help you to understand your options and to better represent yourself in family law matters.  Services are FREE.  They never become your attorney as they can help either side in a case.  If you need to go to court, you will be in court by yourself to present your case.  (Don’t worry—many people are self-represented in family law and are able to do this.) If you want legal advice on case strategy, you should speak with your own private attorney.

 

WHAT KINDS OF ISSUES CAN I TALK ABOUT WITH A FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR?

You can get help with the following issue areas:

  • Child support
  • Spousal support
  • Child custody
  • Child visitation
  • Domestic violence
  • Property division (limited assistance available)
  • Divorce, legal separation, annulment
  • Parentage

 

WITH WHAT KIND OF CASES CAN A FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR HELP ME?

The Office of the Family Law Facilitator can help you in the following types of cases:

  • Dissolution of marriage,
  • Legal separation,
  • Nullity of marriage,
  • Department of Child Support Services parentage and child support case,
  • Parentage case,
  • Child custody and support case, and
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order (for the Response only).

 

THE FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR CAN HELP YOU IN THE FOLLOWING WAYS IN YOUR FAMILY LAW CASE:

  • Explain what is happening in your case and help you to understand your options
  • Explain legal concepts
  • Help you to select appropriate legal paperwork
  • Help you to understand how to complete your legal paperwork
  • Help you to understand how to get your legal paperwork properly served and filed with the court
  • Help you to process a Request to Waive Court Fees and related documents
  • Help you to process a request for a telephone appearance
  • Help you with issues relating to the Department of Child Support Services, including applying for services; investigating problems; and the completion, service and filing of legal papers

 

NOTE: The Office of the Family Law Facilitator does NOT help with guardianship or adoption cases or the application for a domestic violence restraining order.  For all these matters, you will be referred to the Legal Resource Center (located in the court house) or to the Legal Aid Foundation, Inc. A Family Law Facilitator also does not handle any appeals.

 

DOES THE FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR ACT AS MY ATTORNEY?

No. If you work with the Family Law Facilitator, you are responsible for processing your own case. The goal of the Facilitator is to help you to better represent yourself.  The Family Law Facilitator is not your attorney. There is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Family Law Facilitator. The Facilitator can equally help you and the other party (for example, your former spouse, the parent of your child, etc.). Anyone is welcome to ask for help from the Facilitator.

When you speak with the Family Law Facilitator, your conversation is NOT private or confidential. As a policy the facilitator does not want to talk about your case with anyone. If the facilitator is subpoenaed to court, however, there is no attorney-client privilege that would protect your conversation and make it confidential. 

 

HOW IS THE FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR ABLE TO HELP ME?

The Facilitator can help you to:
  • Understand what is happening in your case
  • Understand what legal options you may have
  • Select the proper legal forms and to complete them
  • Properly serve the forms
  • Properly get the forms filed with the Clerk’s Office
  • Understand the calculation of child and spousal support

 

WHERE CAN I GO FOR HELP FROM THE FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR?

We have offices in Santa Barbara and Santa Maria.

I. SANTA BARBARA (Anacapa Division): Serving all of South County

Santa Barbara Office
1100 Anacapa Street, 1st Floor
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 882-4660

  • CLASSES, WORKSHOPS AND WALK-IN CLINICS:
    The Family Law Facilitator in Southern Santa Barbara County offers same-day appointments to those seeking help in completing forms for various family law matters on a first-to-come, first-to-be-served basis.  For help with divorce, legal separation, annulment or custody/visitation, you are required to first attend the offered classes and workshops.  Walk-in Clinic days and hours vary and time slots are limited. 

II. SANTA MARIA (Cook Division): Serving all of North County

Santa Maria Office
312 East Cook Street
Building E, 2nd Floor
Santa Maria, CA 93454
(805) 614-6442 

  • CLASSES AND OFFICE HOURS:
    The Family Law Facilitator in Northern Santa Barbara County offers office consultations by appointment only to those seeking help in completing forms for various family law matters.  You are encouraged to first attend one of the offered classes, which do not require an appointment.  Consultation time slots are limited and appointments must be made in advance.  Same day appointments are not available. 

    See the links below for more information about clinic days, hours and locations in both Lompoc and Santa Maria.


III. LOMPOC

Lompoc Office
115 Civic Center Plaza
Lompoc, CA
805-614-6442

WHAT DOES IT COST?

ALL SERVICES AND CLASSES ARE FREE.

For more information, see Local Rule 1500 and Family Code section 10000 et seq.

Contact Information:

Santa Barbara Office 
Family Court Services
1100 Anacapa Street,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

SB Mediation 882-4667
SB Family Law Facilitator   882-4660



Santa Maria Office
Family Court Services
312 E. Cook St.
New Clerks’ Office Bldg., 2nd Fl.
Santa Maria, CA 93454 

SM Mediation 614-6429
SM Family Law Facilitator   614-6442



Lompoc Office
115 Civic Center Plaza
Lompoc, CA
805-737-5452

 


 
© 2014 Superior Court of the County of Santa Barbara