October 22, 2014
Backview of a family of four holding hands and walking in the park

SELF-HELP CENTER / FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR

About Self-Help Center / Family Law Facilitator

Family Law Facilitator's Office: The Office of the Family Law Facilitator provides free services to help people who do not have private attorneys. The office is located on the 2nd floor in the Southern Branch: Hall of Justice and Records at 400 County Center, Redwood City, California; (650) 261-5010. The office is open:

  • Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday: 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday: CLOSED
  • Divorce Workshops: Tuesdays at 1:15 p.m. Sign up here.
  • Child Support Professionals will be in the Family Law Facilitator's Office every Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. to assist you with your child support needs. This program is only available at our Redwood City office.


The Family Law Facilitator also has office hours at the Northern Branch: Hall of Justice 1050 Old Mission Rd., South San Francisco. The office is open:

  • Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Divorce Workshops*: Alternate Fridays at 8:45 a.m. Sign up here.

Note: People are seen on a first come, first served basis. In Redwood City, the sign up sheet is posted at: 8:00 a.m. Monday- Friday on the 2nd floor, just outside our office. In South San Francisco, the sign up sheet is posted at 8:00a.m. We recommend that you come well before the sign up sheet is posted to ensure you can place your name on the list (Space is very limited). Both buildings are open at 7:30am.

If you need a Restraining Order, contact the Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic at 1048 El Camino Real, Suite A, Redwood City, CA 94063 , or call (650) 358-0745.

All persons who are in "Pro Per" and acting as their own attorney are encouraged to have their forms reviewed by the Family Law Facilitator before filing or presenting the papers to the Court.

The Family Law Facilitators provide general information and referrals. They will review your paperwork and give you information regarding:

  • Initial orders or modifications for child custody, visitation, child, or spousal support
  • Domestic violence restraining orders (for help filling out the forms to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders, please go to Bay Area Legal Aid's Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic.)
  • Initiating an action to establish paternity
  • Dissolution (divorce)*, legal separation, nullity of marriage
  • Responses to any of the above
  • Fee waivers (if you cannot afford the court filing fees)
  • Income and expense declarations

The Family Law Facilitator also calculates child and spousal support under the California State guidelines, assists both parties to prepare stipulations (agreements) regarding child custody, visitation, child and spousal support, and prepares orders for parties who have come from a court hearing.

Although the Facilitators are attorneys, they do not represent you and can only give you general information about the law and your case. Please see a private attorney for a consultation before you begin your legal proceedings to learn about your legal rights.

For help filling out the forms to request a Domestic Violence Restraining Order, please go to Bay Area Legal Aid's Domestic Violence Restraining Order Clinic.

* The Family Law Facilitator will assist anyone wishing to start a divorce (dissolution) or legal separation only in one of our workshops. Also, anyone wishing to file a response to a divorce (dissolution) or legal separation may attend the workshops.

© 2014 Superior Court of San Mateo County