Handling a court case can be difficult and confusing. Please know that there are people who want to help. Sometimes it takes talking to several people before you can find the right person, so keep asking questions and talking to everyone you can. Don't give up!
Child Custody and Visitation
Family Court Services provides mediation for child custody and visitation disputes.
Family Law Facilitators
Family law facilitators can give you information about family law cases. They can also help you fill out forms, help you figure out support amounts, and refer you to community agencies that help parents and children.
Free Legal Workshops and Clinics
The Court offers free legal workshops for domestic violence restraining orders, guardianship, elder law and small claims cases.
Small Claims Legal Advisor
The Small Claims Advisor gives free legal information about small claims cases.
Legal aid gives free legal services to people who are low-income.
Non-profits have other types of support like counseling and resources.
Here are some legal aid and other non-profit groups in Contra Costa County:
Bay Area Legal Aid
BayLegal provides legal information and representation.
Contra Costa County Crisis Center: 211 Data Base
The Crisis Center has 24-hour crisis lines, an information and referral program, and other services.
Contra Costa Senior Legal Services
Senior Legal Services provides free legal services to people who are sixty years of age or older.
Legal Services for Children
Legal Services for Children represents children and youth in many types of cases, including guardianship.
STAND! For Families Free of Violence
STAND! has many domestic violence prevention and treatment programs.
LawHelpCA.org can help you find other legal help.
Department of Child Support Services (DCSS) establishes and collects child support.
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
The DMV website can help you find the nearest office.
Public libraries have legal self-help books and online resources.
Your County Clerk Recorder Office has copies of birth, death, marriage and divorce records.
Contra Costa County Bar Association (CCCBA) has many services, including:
Lawyer Referral Service
For a small fee, you can be referred to a lawyer.
Limited Scope Representation
After discussing your case, you and the lawyer decide which parts of your case you can do yourself and which parts really need to be handled by the lawyer.
Moderate Means Program
If you qualify, you can be referred to an attorney who has agreed to charge a reduced hourly rate.
Resolving Disputes Together
Uses expert staff to help resolve conflicts without legal action.
Congress of Neutrals
Offers many services to help resolve conflicts.
Family Law Alternative Resolution Program (FLARe)
Uses qualified attorneys to listen to both parties, and hopefully resolve their family law dispute.
People who represent themselves must follow the same legal procedures as lawyers to fill out, file and serve court forms, and to prove their case. If you do not have a lawyer there are resources which can help.
- Divorce Manual - A Client Handbook - covers many topics including selecting and working with a lawyer created by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
- Going to Court Without a Lawyer - a guide for handling uncontested divorces, legal separations and annulments to help you understand the court process and fill out the legal forms you will need.
- What Should I Know About Divorce and Custody? - a State Bar of California pamphlet.
- For legal information and help with family law or domestic violence cases in Contra Costa County.
For some suggestions about where to get other help, go to the California Court's Self-Help Center or check out one of the sites below:
Resources in California
- All Superior Courts in California by County
- State Bar of California's Find an Attorney Web site
- Where to write for vital records
- Legal information for military families
Resources Across the USA
- Find government services and information by topic
- Find organizations in other states that provide free legal assistance to eligible clients.
Resources Around the Globe
- Find organizations in other countries that provide free legal assistance to eligible clients.