|| FAMILY SERVICES is a department of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court. It has offices in North and South County. There are 2 different programs in each office that can provide limited assistance to you in family law: (1) Family Court Services, and (2) the Office of the Family Law Facilitator.
Family Court Services provides mediation for separated or divorced parents involved in disputes over custody and visitation of children in cases where the Santa Barbara County Superior Court has jurisdiction.
- Mediation is required in California whenever a dispute regarding custody or visitation is presented to the court.
- Mediation is confidential, and the mediator will not make recommendations to the court.
- MEDIATION IS FREE.
- To schedule Family Custody Mediation, or to obtain more information regarding the specifics of how these services are offered in North and South County contact:
- SOUTH COUNTY: the Family Services Assistant at
- NORTH COUNTY: (805) 614-6429
More information can be found here
The Office of the Family Law Facilitator helps you to better represent yourself in family law matters. The office is staffed by attorneys who can help you with child support, spousal support, health insurance, custody/visitation and related matters in divorce, separation, nullity, parentage and domestic violence cases. You can also receive help in filing for divorce, legal separation, nullity or a parentage judgment. The Office of the Family Law Facilitator can help you in responding to an application for a domestic violence restraining order, but will refer you to the Legal Resource Center or the Legal Aid Foundation, Inc. if you want to apply for a domestic violence restraining order.
HOW TO FIND FAMILY COURT SERVICES:
Court Services has offices in north and south
Santa Barbara (South County):
The Santa Barbara office, which serves the Anacapa Division
of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court, is located on the
first floor of the historic courthouse:
From Highway 101, take the Carrillo Street exit. If you are traveling
south on 101, turn left on Carrillo. If you are traveling north on
101, turn right on Carrillo. Proceed 4 blocks until you reach Chapala
Street, then turn left. At the next signal, Figueroa Street, turn
right. Travel 2 blocks until you see a parking structure on your left
side. Park your car there. The first 75 minutes are free; each hour
or fraction of an hour thereafter costs $1.50. The courthouse is across
the street at the corner of Anacapa and Figueroa.
1100 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, California 93101
|Family Law Facilitator
Santa Maria (North County):
The Santa Maria office, which serves the Cook and Lompoc Divisions
of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court, is located at:
312 E. Cook St.
New Clerks’ Office Bldg., 2nd Fl.
Santa Maria, CA 93454
|SM Family Law Facilitator
Campus Map here
Traveling north or south from Highway 101, take the Main Street/Guadalupe exit. If you are traveling north on 101, turn left onto Main Street. If you are traveling south on 101, turn right onto Main Street. Go 3 signals until you reach Miller Street. Turn left onto Miller Street and take the first entrance into the Santa Maria Town Center Mall. At the stop sign, Sears will be directly in front of you. Make a sharp turn to the left and park in the underground parking structure and take the stairs to level 2 of the parking structure. Family Court Services will be in front of you in Suite 208.
Santa Barbara (South County):
A receptionist is available at Family Court Services Monday through
Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.
A FREE children’s waiting room located at 118 East Figueroa Street, on the First Floor is available to accommodate children between the ages of 2 ½ to
twelve years old whose parent or guardian have court hearings and court business to attend.
The service is provided free of charge and is funded from mandated civil filing fees.
FAMILY COURT SERVICES: Custody and visitation mediation is conducted by appointment only. Call (805) 882-4667 to schedule your mediation appointment and for further information.
FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR: Help is available on a walk-in basis. Customers who live out-of-county may call to get a phone appointment. Couples who want to schedule a child support and/or spousal support mediation appointment may call to make an office appointment. No other appointments are available. Please call (805) 882-4660 for further information or click here. (En español)
Santa Maria (North County):
A receptionist is available at Family Court Services Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
FAMILY COURT SERVICES: Custody and visitation mediation with Family Mediation is conducted by appointment only. Call (805) 614-6429 to schedule your mediation appointment and for further information.
FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR: Help is available on Monday and Tuesday in Santa Maria by appointment only at:
312 E. Cook St., Ste. 240
Santa Maria, CA 93454
- MONDAYS: the Facilitator sees Spanish-speaking customers with the assistance of an interpreter.
- TUESDAYS: the Facilitator sees English-speaking customers. Call the Family Law Facilitator’s Office in North County at 805-614-6442 to schedule your appointment. These are NOT same-day appointments.
- WEDNESDAYS: The Facilitator holds classes on Wednesday afternoons on how to prepare the papers to complete a divorce or paternity matter or to get a hearing regarding custody, visitation or support matters.
On Fridays, the Facilitator is available by appointment only at the Lompoc Courthouse, located at:
115 Civic Center Plaza
Lompoc, CA 93436
Call the Family Law Facilitator’s Office in North County at 805-614-6442 to schedule your appointment.. One-hour consultations are available from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. that day. Spanish speakers must bring their own interpreters, who are at least 18 years of age and are not involved in the case being discussed.
Please click here for information on the Facilitator's schedule and classes.
RESOURCES IN FAMILY LAW:
ENGLISH (If the web site does not work, please double check
- 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 website provides general and specific information on family law matters. Step-by-step written procedures for processing a case in family law are available here. 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.
- Virtual Self-Help Law Center, [ http://www.cc-courthelp.org/ ] This site is operated by the State of California, Administration of the Courts, Equal Access program. You will find information on court procedures, forms and links to other important resources. It is an excellent place to start for the self-represented litigant, who needs to learn more about the court system. The site offers videos on how to complete forms, step-by-step.
- Typing Legal Forms: The Accesslaw website [www.accesslaw.com/forms.html] website allows you to select and type online a Judicial Council legal form. This website does not provide instructions or assistance. You will be able to type and print a form online. You will not be able to save your information at the Accesslaw site. These forms will still need to be delivered in person or by mail to the Superior Court Clerk’s Office for filing. You will also need to pay the appropriate filing fee, if applicable.
- California Official Reports Public Access Web site: [http://www.lexisnexis.com/clients/CACourts/]. This Official Reports Web site is intended to provide public access to California’s published appellate decisions (“case law”). There is no charge to search, retrieve or save documents from the California Official Reports Web site, and there is no copyright on opinion text. The site, however, is for personal, not commercial, use.
- LawHelpCalifornia.org: [www.lawhelpCalifornia.org] LawHelpCalifornia.org provides self-represented litigants 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.
- 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."
- Legal databases can be found at [http://law.slu.edu/library] or [http://www.hg.org] 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: [www.countyofsb.org/dcss/index.asp]: 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: [www.childsup.cahwnet.gov]: 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: [www.childsup.cahwnet.gov/calculator]: 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.
- Parenting plan examples: [http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/familylaw/ui/documents.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.
- 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?"
- Find a Lawyer, Find the Law: [www.findlaw.com]: This web site allows you to research a legal issue and to find a lawyer.
- 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 page on local resources: [http://www.lafsbc.org/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 for California, are a good resource to get additional family-law related information while you are getting help from Family Court Services.
- Interesting Sites for Researching Real Property: [www.zillow.com] or [www.trulia.com] or [www.lawresearch.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:
- All state and public records: [http://www.searchsystems.net]. Use this site to research multiple web sites for state and public records.
- Social Security Death Records: [http://ssdi.rootsweb.com].
- Federal inmate locator site: [http://www.bop.gov/iloc2/LocateInmate.jsp]
IN-STATE APPEAL RESOURCES
Courts of Appeal: 2nd District: Los Angeles and Ventura Court Programs
- Free Self-Help Clinic for Indigent Civil Litigants: [http://www.courts.ca.gov/4799.htm]: This clinic can help by providing information about the many procedures, filings and deadlines appellants and respondents will encounter throughout the appeal process. Appointments or clinic hours on a walk-in basis is offered. Tenemos ayuda en español, pero nos tiene que notificar con tiempo. (Spanish-language assistance available with advance notice).
- Online Manual for self-represented litigants who file civil appeals: [http://www.courts.ca.gov/4941.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: [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.
ESPAÑOL (Si un sitio Web no trabaja, compruebe su deletreo.)
- Centro de Ayuda de las Cortes de California: [http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.htm?rdeLocaleAttr=es]. 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.
- Centro de Recursos 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 dándole información e instrucción en español para mostrarle como llenar las formas legales de los casos más comunes en asunto civil.
- 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.