CALIFORNIA LEGAL FORMS RESOURCES:
- Santa Barbara County Superior Court [www.sbcourts.org]: This is the official website for the Santa Barbara County Superior Court. It has links to the Family Law Facilitator and other self-help resources (in English and Spanish). It also has links to the Judicial Council court forms, special local forms, local court rules, information on filing fees and tentative rulings.
- Family Law Help: Judicial Council of California, Center for Families, Children and the Courts [www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-family.htm]: This division of the California Administration of the Courts provides general and specific information on family law matters. Step-by-step procedures for processing a case in family law are available at this site. The site now has "fill out online and print" Judicial Council forms. These forms will still need to be delivered in person or by mail to the Superior Court Clerk's Office for filing. Versions of all forms that can only be printed blank (and cannot be completed online) are also available.
- California's Virtual Self-Help Law Center: [www.cc-courthelp.org/formsinstructions]: This site offers excellent video instruction on how to complete certain Family Law Judicial Council legal forms. Be sure to have the necessary form in front of you as you watch.
- LawHelpCalifornia.org: [www.lawhelpCalifornia.org] LawHelpCalifornia.org provides clients and advocates with detailed referral information for over 500 legal aid, court-based programs, law libraries and lawyer referral services. The database is searchable by zip code and practice area and includes information regarding intake procedures, languages spoken and eligibility. The site also offers over 700 "know your rights" self-help resources for low and moderate income Californians.
- National Document Assembly Server: [www.hotdocs.com]. This website (HotDocs) helps people prepare legal documents using programmed "templates." These templates include preparing a declaration for a domestic violence restraining order and many more.
- Ventura County Superior Court: Workshop Videos: [http://www.ventura.courts.ca.gov/workshop-videos.html] The Ventura County Superior Court has a variety of legal workshops online to help the self-represented litigant, including the following topics in Family Law: Child Custody and Visitation, Child Support Workshop, Declaration of Disclosure (Forms Packet 2), Division of Assets and Debts of the Community, and Divorce/Legal Separation (Forms Packet 1). Although some of the information is a little dated, the videos are nevertheless of benefit.
- California Statutes and Bills: [www.leginfo.ca.gov] Go here if you would like to research the California law (also known as "statutes" or "the code") or to check on the latest status of a bill pending before the California legislature. The sections relating to divorce, custody, visitation and support are all in the "Family Code" under "California Law."
- San Francisco Law Library: [http://www.sflawlibrary.org/index.aspx?page=25#Nolo] At this website, you can find the following: California Cases are available for free on the California Courts website. Nolo Legal Information Reference Center contains the full text of hundreds of Nolo Press publications, the authoritative source of legal information for non-lawyers. FindLaw is a search tool to find state, federal, and foreign legal sites.
- Find a Lawyer, Find the Law: [www.findlaw.com]: This web site allows you to research a legal issue and to find a lawyer.
- Legal databases can be found at [http://law.slu.edu/library] or [http://www.hg.org] or or [http://www.law.cornell.edu/] or [http://www.loc.gov/index.html]. You can use these sites to research the law.
- Child Support Help: Santa Barbara County Department of Child Support Services: [http://css.countyofsb.org/css/] This is the Santa Barbara County agency that can establish parentage, get or modify child support orders and collect child and spousal support and medical support. The website does not provide tools for modification. You must contact the agency directly for assistance.
- Child Support Help: California Department of Child Support Services: [http://www.childsup.ca.gov/home.aspx] This site is designed to explain how the State of California and California counties can help you with child support issues.
- Child Support: Connect with the California Department of Child Support Services: [www.childsup-connect.ca.gov]: This is California's child support self-service information system designed with the customer in mind. You can use this secure self-service website 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can update your account information, get individual case information, get payment information, make a payment, reset or change your PIN, and verify appointment dates and times. You will need your Social Security number (or Participant ID) and personal identification number (PIN) ready if you want to access case-specific information.
- California Guideline Child Support Payment Calculator: [http://www.childsup.ca.gov/Resources/CalculateChildSupport.aspx]: The California Guideline Child Support Calculator is based on California Child Support Guidelines and can be used to estimate the amount of child support that may be ordered in your case. The Court Commissioner or Family Law Judge has the final authority to determine the amount of a child support order. This calculator provides only an estimate and is not a guarantee of the amount of child support that will be ordered. Other factors may affect the amount of child support awarded.
- Child Support Regulations: [www.childsup.ca.gov/resources/childsupportregulations/tabid/144/default.aspx]
- California Courts: Parenting Resources: http://courts.ca.gov/16473.htm This very helpful California Courts website has excellent parenting resources, including general information on parenting classes and in-depth information on the effect of divorce and separation on the family and on the creation of an individualized parenting plan for your children.
- California Courts: Custody and Parenting Time (Visitation): [http://courts.ca.gov/selfhelp-custody.htm] Here you can learn about child custody and parenting time (also called "visitation") cases, how to prepare a parenting plan for you and your children, and how to get or change a court order. You can also find many resources to help you and your children through your separation or divorce.
- Parenting plan examples: [http://www.lacourt.org/selfhelp/familiesandchildren/SH_FM002.aspx ] This site has a series of brochures designed to help separated or divorced parents to create parenting plans which address the needs of their child or children. The brochures also have tips on how to make a successful parental plan.
- Developing a Child Custody Parenting Plan: Handbook for Parents [http://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/SDCOURT/
GENERALINFORMATION/FORMS/FAMILYANDCHILDRENFORMS/FCS058.PDF ] This handbook is offered through the San Diego County Superior Court. It gives a brief overview of things to consider when developing a parenting plan.
- FAMILIES CHANGE: [http://www.familieschange.ca.gov/] This site, operated by the State of California, has guides designed for parents and kids & teens regarding separation and divorce.
- The site offers an online course called "Parenting after Separation." This class helps parents make informed decisions about their separation and how to put the needs of the children first. The course takes 2-4 hours depending on how quickly you work. At the conclusion of the course, you can take an exam. You will receive a Certificate of Attendance if you successfully complete the class. You can take this class and file this certificate if you are unable to attend the PEACE class in Santa Barbara County.
- The site also offers a Parent's Guide, a Parent's Handbook, a Teen Guide and a Kids' Guide to separation and divorce. These resources are invaluable to help cope with the stresses of separation and divorce affecting you and your family.
- The site additionally offers "Changeville," an interactive, online game where kids whose parents are separating or have divorced can go for support, advice and comfort. Changeville is a fun place to explore, with each visit providing a different set of activities and experiences. Changeville is designed to help children and youth deal more positively with a family break up. Changeville was developed by the Justice Education Society of British Columbia and has been adapted for use by the California Courts.
- Help with co-parenting:
- www.UpToParents.org: For parents who are divorced or going through the divorce process.
- www.ProudToParent.org : For parents that were never married to each other.
- www.WhileWeHeal.org: For parents intending to stay married but wishing to remember their children's needs as they work through marital problems.
- Our Family Wizard: [http://www.ourfamilywizard.com/ofw/]: For a fee this website offers constructive help to co-parents. It is designed to help reduce conflict between parents who are co-parenting. It works online and also as an application for an Android, iPhone, Kindle, Blackberry, etc. It offers a parenting plan calendar, information bank, a message board, expense log, etc. It tracks communication between parents, showing the date when either parent accesses the information left for him or her by the other parent. Once you sign up, all your case information that has been inputted (parenting plans, communication, expense logs, etc.) on the website is printable.
- Family Law Facilitator: [http://www.sbcourts.org/dv/fl/family-law-facilitator.shtm]: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.
- Lawyer Referral Service: [www.sblaw.org]: The century old Santa Barbara County Bar Association has a membership of about 600 attorneys, judges, legal administrators, paralegals, law students and members of various other professions. The SBCBA is a nonprofit organization that administers many programs and activities to benefit attorneys and the community. Our members work to improve the legal profession, the communities in which they live, and the administration of justice in society.
- Legal Resource Center: [http://www.sbcourts.org/sh/lrc/index.shtm] A walk-in center for those representing themselves in Civil Court. Issues addressed include: General civil, Small Claims Court, collecting a judgment, unlawful detainer, guardianship, step-parent adoption, domestic violence restraining orders and responses, civil anti-harassment restraining orders and responses, landlord-tenant, collections, name changes and expungements.
- Santa Barbara Law Library: [http://www.countylawlibrary.org/resources.htm] The law libraries are open to the public and are committed to providing legal information to the citizens of Santa Barbara County. This web site allows the Santa Barbara County Law Library to greatly enhance access to electronic legal information beyond the traditional library collection of printed materials and CD-ROMS. The two locations are:
- 1100 Anacapa street, 2nd floor, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Phone Number: (805) 568-2296
- 312 East Cook Street, Santa Maria, CA, 93454
Phone Number: (805) 346-7548
- 1100 Anacapa street, 2nd floor, Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Phone Number: (805) 568-2296
- General Legal Information: [www.calbar.org]: The State Bar of California provides consumer education pamphlets in print or online. Some titles include: "How Can I Find and Hire the Right Lawyer?" "What Should I Know about Divorce and Custody?" "Can the Law Protect Me from Domestic Violence?" "What Can I Do if I Can't Pay My Debts?
- Options for Divorce in California: The Family Law Section of the State Bar of California offers an on-line version of a brochure regarding options for proceeding with divorce in California. Go to www.calbar.org/famlaw and follow the instructions for viewing.
- Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County [www.lafsbc.org/]: This non-profit agency provides free legal services to low-income residents and seniors in Santa Barbara. It has an excellent link to information on community resources.
- Nolo Press [www.nolo.com] is a for profit business that helps individuals representing themselves by providing information and legal forms to accomplish simple legal tasks. Their products, or other up-to-date products created by other publishers specifically forCalifornia, are a good resource to get additional family-law related information while you are getting help from Family Court Services.
CALIFORNIA APPEAL RESOURCES
Courts of Appeal: 2nd District: Los Angeles and Ventura Court Programs
- For self-represented litigants filing a civil appeal in the 2nd District: [http://www.courts.ca.gov/2148.htm]: Enables self-represented litigants to better understand the judicial process and includes copies of most of the forms needed to pursue an appeal, with line-by-line instructions on how to fill them out. You can download the entire Civil Appellate Practices and Procedures for the Self-Represented Manual or review individual chapters as provided on this link. Chapters include: Filing the Notice of Appeal; Designating the Record; Civil Case Information Statement; Briefing the Case; Motions, Applications, Stipulations, Abandonment, and Online Case Information; Oral Argument; and What You Can Do After the Court Files Its Opinion.
- Appellate Pro Bono Pilot Project: [http://www.courts.ca.gov/2503.htm]: Offers representation to indigent litigants who are without counsel which involves a screening process to identify cases with litigants who are indigent to determine if their case is eligible for assistance from volunteer counsel. Can obtain information about Appellate Rules, procedures for self help guidelines.
- California Courts: Steps to Appeal: [http://www.courts.ca.gov/8546.htm] This website gives you only general information about appeals in limited and unlimited civil cases. It does NOT deal with criminal appeals, small claims appeals, or appeals of infractions or misdemeanors. More information may be obtained from the websites for the Courts of Appeals and the superior court appellate divisions.
- Interesting Sites for Researching Real Property: [www.zillow.com] or [www.trulia.com]. Use these sites to look up real property values and other information related to real estate.
- Locate a person: [http://www.zabasearch.com]. Use this website to try to locate a person.
- Workplace income information: [http://www.salary.com].
- Research car values: [http://www.kbb.com] (Kelly Blue Book) or [http://www.edmunds.com].
- Research job availability: [http://www.edd.ca.gov] or [http://www.ajb.org].
- Research licenses:
- [http://www.dca.ca.gov]. Locate licensees through the Dept. of Consumer Affairs.
- [http://www.cslb.ca.gov]. Locate a contractor's license through the State Licensing Board.
- [http://www.dre.ca.gov]. Locate a realtor's license through the Dept. of Real Estate.
- [http://www.insurance.ca.gov]. Locate an insurance agent's license through the Dept. of Insurance.
- All state and public records: [http://www.searchsystems.net]. Use this site to research multiple web sites for state and public records.
- Federal inmate locator site: [http://www.bop.gov/inmateloc/ ]
- Consumer's Guide to Legal Help on the Internet: [www.abanet.org/legalservices/public.html]: This American Bar Association Web site can help you find self-help and legal information Web sites in many states. The site can also help you locate free and low-cost legal help in other States.
ESPAÑOL (Si un sitio Web no trabaja, compruebe su deletreo.)
- Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California: [www.sucorte.ca.gov]: Este sitio Web le ayudará a encontrar ayuda e información, trabajar mejor con un abogado y en algunos asuntos legales le ayudará a representarse a sí mismo.
- Familias y Ninos: [www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/espanol/familia]: Este sitio Web le ayudará a encontrar información sobre: Divorcio, separación legal y anulación, Custodia y visitación, Manutención de los hijos y del cónyuge, Paternidad, Adopción, Corte de menores de edad: Introducción, Dependencia de menores (Abuso y descuido), Delincuencia de menores, Emancipación, Educación especial, Tutela (Corte testamentaria), Familias y niños: Enlaces, Familias y niños: Preguntas y respuestas, Familias y niños: Formularios e instrucciones.
- Recurson Legales: [www.fresnosuperiorcourt.org/family/sshc_spanish.php] La Corte Superior del Condado de Fresno, ha establecido el Centro de Recursos Legales - Spanish Self-Help Center - que a la fecha ya ha resultado ser todo un éxito. Este programa subsidiado tiene como objetivos principales proveer educación y acceso equitativo al sistema judicial para litigantes de habla hispana sin abogado. Centro de Recursos Legales le puede ayudar dandole información e instrucción en español para mostrarle como llinar las formas legales de los casos más comunes en asunto civil.
- Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County: [www.lafsbc.org/spanish.html]: La Fundación de Asistencia Legal es una corporación privada no lucrativa, fundada por La Asociación de Abogados del Condado de Santa Barbara, para proveer servicios legales gratuitos a personas de bajos ingresos y de edad avanzada, ya los sobrevivientes de violencia domèstica.
- The State Bar of California: [www.calbar.org]: The State Bar of California tiene folletos seleccionadas en español que pueden servir de una guía para tomar decisiones legales. Para más información, llame el teléfono directo de la información del consumidor: 888-875-LAWS (888-875-5297). Gratis.
This list updated: AUGUST 2013
Santa Barbara Office
Family Court Services
1100 Anacapa Street,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
|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 Family Law Facilitator||614-6442|
115 Civic Center Plaza