Many local laws and courts have been affected by COVID-19. Please use the search for legal help tool to find a legal aid organization or self help center near you for accurate information and more support.
If you cannot afford the filing fee or other court costs, you may qualify to have these fees and costs waived by the court.
The legal process for parenting plans and custody orders.
Read about where to file your lawsuit or case. Information on jurisdiction and venue.
This resource guide was designed to answer basic legal questions related to marriage, domestic partnerships, parenting, foster care, and youth issues.
This section will give you general guidelines for how to best prepare yourself for court.
The Constitution; Executive and Administrative Laws; County, Appellate, Supreme Court, and Federal Districts; State Legislation; and Legal Guides.
ADR is usually less formal, less expensive, and less time-consuming than a trial.
Find a court program near you.
Whatever the reason, you have the right to represent yourself, to be your own lawyer in all cases in California.
This is an online guide for families going through separation and divorce. With three versions " one for parents, one for children, and another for teens and pre-teens.
This guide can help you if you live with a child, but aren't the parent or don't have legal custody. It explains how to fill out the Caregiver Authorization Affidavit form and use it to enroll the child in school and help the child get medical care.
County court services parenting plan counseling.
An overview of the areas that should be addressed in a parenting plan including:
Guardianships, dependency proceedings, getting a child out of a shelter, visitation rights of grandparents, when permanent custody is necessary, adoption, foster care, public benefits, relative caregiver options chart, and school issues.
Parenting time: developing plans, custody and parenting time (visitation) orders, and supervised visitation.
Custodial interference and temporary emergency custody.
In mediation, the parents have the help of an expert (a mediator) in resolving these disagreements. If the parents are able to work out an agreement, the mediator helps the parents write a parenting plan that may then become a custody and visitation order if it is signed by a judge.
Answers to frequently asked basic questions about child custody mediation in California courts.
If a custodial parent wants to move away with the child.
The comprehensive guide to your rights and options as a parent, including sample letters to send to the authorities. Topics covered - (1) arrest: what happens to my child? (2) placement: where will my child live? (3) foster care & dependency: how can i keep my family together while i'm in jail or prison? (4) family reunification: how do i get my child back when i get out? (5) making a record: what can i do while i'm in jail or prison? (6) paternity: how do i show i'm the dad? (7) de facto parent: what is it? (8) child support: how can i pay when i don't have any money? (9) special immigrant juvenile status: what is it? who qualifies?
This guide describes the dependency court process in California. It also
includes the story of one parent who went through the dependency system
and her advice to you on how to get your children back home.
Legal parentage, second-parent adoption, parentage judgments, custody, and parenting agreements.