NOTICE FROM THE FAMILY LAW FACILITATOR'S OFFICE:
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Family Law Facilitator's Office is only providing remote services at this time.
In-person assistance and workshops will not be available until further notice.
NOTICE: Effective 4/6/2020, the Family Law Facilitator’s Office will not be providing in-person services at any location until further notice. Please click here for information on how to access services remotely during this time: Facilitator’s Office Temporary Remote Services Flyer
AVISO: A partir del 6 de abril de 2020, la oficina de los facilitadores de la ley de familia no proporcionará servicios en persona en ningún lugar hasta nuevo aviso. Haga clic aquí para obtener información sobre cómo acceder a los servicios de forma remota durante este tiempo: Facilitator’s Office Temporary Remote Services Flyer (Spanish)

How can I get help with my family law case?

The Family Law Facilitator's Office is now available by emailing us at selfhelpfamilylaw@contracosta.courts.ca.gov or leaving us a message at (925) 608-2067.

Be sure to do the following:
When you send our office an email or leave a message, please include your name, the name of the other party, your case number (if you have one), a brief description of your issue, and your contact information. A staff member will contact you as soon as possible. Response times may vary due to the volume of emails or voicemails received.

COVID-19 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

The Family Law Facilitator’s Office understands that this is a stressful and confusing time. A lot of court procedures have changed and you may not know what to do next. Please read below for some frequently asked questions (“FAQs.”) If you are still confused, please email us or leave us a voicemail for further assistance:

Like most essential services, the court will be re-opening with new procedures in order to maintain social distancing. If possible, we encourage all customers and litigants to avoid in-person travel to the courthouse whenever possible. For example, the Family Law Facilitators are now available by phone and email. Also, we encourage you to take advantage of the new drop boxes located in front of court buildings to avoid waiting in long lines to file your completed documents.
You will be required to wear a mask or face covering in order to enter any court facility. The court is limiting the number of people allowed into each building at a time. Therefore, if you must come to any court location, know that there could be a long wait to access the building and services. Also, please understand that these social distancing rules will be strictly enforced.

To start, you will need to fill out the application packet(s).

  • You can pick up pre-printed packets from the Restraining Order Window at the Family Law Building, located at 751 Pine Street, Martinez, CA 94553. The Restraining Order Window is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., except for court holidays.
  • Forms can be downloaded from the court’s website at www.cc-courts.org. Go to "General Information" and click on "Forms." Click on "Forms Packets" and go to "Domestic Violence Restraining Order Packets & Forms."
    • Packet A is mandatory and must be completed. You do not need to complete Packet B unless you have minor children with the other party.
  • Pre-printed Domestic Violence Restraining Order packets are also still available at Contra Costa County Family Justice Centers, www.cocofamilyjustice.org. For hours of operation, please call the respective center: Richmond (510) 974-7200; Concord (925) 521-6366; Antioch (925) 281-0970.
  • Or, you can try using a free, online forms preparation program like Odyssey Guide & File, located here: https://california.tylerhost.net/SRL.
  • Please understand that the Family Law Facilitator’s Office does not provide assistance with completing the forms for a Domestic Violence Restraining Order. If you need help with filling out the forms, please contact STAND! at 1-888-215-5555 to make an appointment for Bay Area Legal Aid’s remote restraining order clinic.


Additional rules for turning in your forms are found on the court’s website at: Family Law Emergency Local Rules.
Yes, the clerk’s office is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., except for court holidays. However, because of the limited number of people allowed into each building, be prepared to experience long waits. You can avoid these long lines by using the drop box that we have placed outside the building or by mailing your documents to the court.

Drop Box

The drop box is available Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and is located in front of the Spinetta Family Law building at 751 Pine Street, Martinez, CA 94553.
  • Be sure to include the original of your document(s), at least two copies, any applicable filing fee or fee waiver application, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope with appropriate postage for the court to return your filed documents to you.
  • If you need envelopes or postage, there is a post office located nearby, at: 815 Court Street, Martinez, CA 94553.


Mailing

Mail the original of your document(s), at least two copies, any applicable filing fee or fee waiver application, and a self-addressed stamped envelope with appropriate postage for the court to return your filed documents to you. You can mail your documents to:

Contra Costa County Superior Court
751 Pine Street
P.O. Box 911
Martinez, CA 94553
Attn: Clerk’s Office

Restraining Order Packets

  • Pre-printed Domestic Violence Restraining Order packets are available at the Restraining Order window of the Peter L. Spinetta Family Law Building located at 751 Pine Street, Martinez, CA 94553. The Restraining Order window is available Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., except for court holidays.
  • Pre-printed Domestic Violence Restraining Order packets are also available at Contra Costa County Family Justice Centers, www.cocofamilyjustice.org." For hours of operation, please call the respective center: Richmond (510) 974-7200; Concord (925) 521-6366; Antioch (925) 281-0970
  • Forms can also be downloaded from the court’s website at www.cc-courts.org. Go to “General Information” and click on “Forms.” Click on “Forms Packets” and go to “Domestic Violence Restraining Order Packets & Forms.”
    • Packet A is mandatory and must be completed. You do not need to complete Packet B unless you have minor children with the other party.
  • Or, you can try using a free, online forms preparation program like Odyssey Guide & File, located here: https://california.tylerhost.net/SRL.

For all other forms, please see the information below:
Download:

  • You can download forms and forms packets from the court’s website at www.cc-courts.org. Go to “General Information” and click on “Forms.”
  • If you do not see the form that you need, you can also download forms at the Judicial Council website at www.courts.ca.gov. Click on “Forms & Rules.” From the pull-down menu, choose “Find Your Court Forms.”

Purchasing Pre-Printed Forms:
The Contra Costa County Law Library is able to sell pre-printed forms and packets. Please call the Law Library at (925) 646-2783 or email reference.questionsCCCPLLIB@gmail.com for more information. Please note that the Law Library accepts only cash payments at this time and bills must not be larger than a $20 bill.

Court Records is not open to the public. However, you can still request records and copies of orders. Complete this form and follow the instructions for how to submit your request: http://www.cc-courts.org/civil/docs/CourtRecords-MailRequest.pdf..
The Law Library facilities are not open to the public at this time. However, the Law Librarians are still selling forms and helping with research by phone and email. For more information, call the Law Library at (925) 646-2783 or visit their website for updates on their services: http://www.cccpllib.org/.
Yes, you will still be required to do a mediation appointment. However, mediations are now happening remotely, either by Zoom or by phone. If you have updated contact information or questions about your mediation appointment, please call Family Court Services at (925) 608-2065.
The current custody/visitation orders you have are still in effect and should be followed, although you may have to make adjustments. Section #6 of the “Emergency Local Rules: Family Law (Third Amended)” includes guidelines for how to make visitation work with the current Shelter in Place rules. For example, changes may need to be made as to exchange locations or visitation locations. The Emergency Local Rules can be found on the court’s website here: Family Law Emergency Local Rules.
If you have an agreement, you and the other parent can complete a stipulation and submit it for a judge’s signature. If you and the other parent do not have an agreement, you will need to file papers to set a court date. For help, please contact the Family Law Facilitator’s Office by leaving us a message at (925) 608-2067 or emailing selfhelpfamilylaw@contracosta.courts.ca.gov.
If you and the other parent have an agreement, you and the other parent can complete a stipulation and submit it for a judge’s signature. If the Department of Child Support Services is involved, they will need to sign also. If there is no agreement, you will need to file papers to set a court date. For help, please contact the Family Law Facilitator’s Office by leaving us a message at (925) 608-2067 or emailing selfhelpfamilylaw@contracosta.courts.ca.gov.

The answer will depend on what you are doing. Not everyone needs to have a court date to resolve their issues. If you have just opened your case, you will not be assigned a court date unless you file paperwork to set a hearing. If you serve the other party with your Petition and Summons and there is no objection from the other party, it is possible that you will be able to finish your case without having to see a judge. In this case, you will complete your case by submitting additional forms.

However, if the other party files a response or if the two of you are unable to reach an agreement, you may need to request a court date. To do so, you must complete the appropriate forms, file them with the court, and then arrange for those documents to be served on the other party so that they know when the court date will be. Court dates are assigned by what the next available date is for your judge. If there is an emergency and you need to be seen sooner than the next available date, you may need to submit a request for temporary emergency orders.

Still have questions? Email our office or leave us a voicemail message. A staff member will return your message as soon as possible. Please understand that response times may vary, depending on the volume of emails and messages received.

General Information

The Family Law Facilitator’s offices offer assistance with the completion of legal forms and provides procedural guidance in most areas of Family Law, including: child support, spousal support, child custody, visitation, dissolution, legal separation, nullity, and establishment of paternity.

Scope of Facilitator Services

The Family Law Facilitators are attorneys employed by the Court to help parties that do not have attorneys with some procedural matters (see chart below)

The Family Law Facilitators CAN The Family Law Facilitators CANNOT*
Help file papers to modify child support, set payment on arrears and release your license if you have a case with the Department of Child Support Services Help with ADOPTIONS, GUARDIANSHIPS, TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS, GRANDPARENT OR STEPPARENT VISITATION OR JUVENILE court cases
Provide referrals to lawyer referral services, legal aid and the Department of Child Support Services Help you prepare for SETTLEMENT CONFERENCE, CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE or TRIAL
Help file papers to get child care costs, health insurance and uninsured medical costs in your Department of Child Support Services case Help with NAME CHANGE, CIVIL or CRIMINAL cases (including bankruptcy and foreclosure issues)
Refer you to a workshop where you can get help with finishing your divorce or legal separation case Help with DISCOVERY, SUBPOENAS, DEPOSITIONS, WRITS OF EXECUTION, LEVIES, LIENS, CONTEMPT or provide TAX ADVICE
Refer you to a workshop where you can get help with your paternity case Help you file an APPEAL, MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION, MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL, MOTION TO VACATE JUDGMENT
Refer you to a workshop if you need help filing papers for spousal support Help with PENSION, COMPLEX PROPERTY or COMPLEX SUPPORT issues

* Please note there may be additional issues the Facilitators cannot assist with that are not listed above.


Starting your Divorce

After completing the online "Start Your Divorce" workshop, you can email us at selfhelpfamilylaw@contracosta.courts.ca.gov if you have questions or would like someone to do a quick review of your forms before you submit them.