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Self-Help Law Center

Resources

Each Court has a Self-Help Center that offers help in family law and small claims cases. Many Courts offer help in other case types as well. Court Self-Help Centers cannot offer legal advice. Contact your local Court or Self-Help Center to find about the type of help they offer.

  • Find Your Court
  • Self-Help Centers

Law libraries can also be a great resource. They have legal Self-Help books and computers you can use to look-up information and fill-out legal forms. Many law libraries host Self-Help workshops put on by legal nonprofits. Law libraries also host an online chat where you can ask questions and get legal information. The librarian cannot offer legal advice. Contact your local law library to find out more about the services they offer.

  • Find a Law Library
  • Ask a Law Librarian

The California Courts Self-Help Center, by the Judicial Council of California, has legal information in many case types and offers step-by-step instructions for starting or responding to cases. LawHelp offers basic legal information and lets you search for legal help by case type and location.

  • California Courts Self-Help Center
  • LawHelpCA.org

The State Bar of California and the Judicial Council websites have information about how to find low-cost legal help and the types of organizations that may be able to help.

  • State Bar of California's Find an Attorney
  • Find Low Cost Legal Help

Family Law Facilitators

A Family Law Facilitator is an attorney who works for the Court and offers legal information about child and spousal support. Many Facilitators also offer help in other areas of family law, like divorce or child custody. The Facilitator is not your attorney and cannot give legal advice.

  • Family Law Facilitators

Child Custody

Families Change offers age-appropriate information to help kids, teens, and parents deal with family break-ups.

  • Families Change

Child Support

Every County has a local child support agency that helps with starting a child support case. The agency also helps with changing or enforcing child support orders. They are not your attorney and cannot help with divorce or child custody issues. Sometimes you will hear this agency called the Department of Child Support Services (DCSS), which is a State agency.

  • Locate Child Support Agency
  • Online DCSS Application

Parentage

Paternity Opportunity Program. A voluntary State program to establish paternity for unmarried parents.

  • Paternity Opportunity Program

Adoption

  • Get Birth, Death, or Marriage Certificates
  • Department of Social Services
  • Child Welfare Information Gateway

Some Court’s Self-Help Centers offer assistance in Guardianship cases. Contact your local Court to find out what type of Self-Help is available.

The Guardianship Pamphlet offers basic information about guardianships for children.

  • Guardianship Pamphlet
  • Get Birth, Death, or Marriage Certificates
  • Becoming a Guardian a video produced by the Superior Court of California, County of Solano and the Judicial Council of California

Every Court has a small claims advisor who can answer questions about the small claims process. The advisor is not your attorney and cannot give legal advice.

  • Small Claims Advisors

The California Department of Consumer Affairs has an online guide with step-by-step instructions and information for small claims cases.

  • Department of Consumer Affairs
  • Department of Motor Vehicles
  • California Vehicle Code
  • Traffic Schools

Some Court’s Self-Help Centers offer assistance in Eviction cases. Contact your local Court to find out what type of Self-Help is available.

  • California Department of Fair Employment and Housing
  • Sexual Harassment in Housing Initiative – Department of Justice

Some Court’s Self-Help Centers offer assistance in Domestic Violence cases. Contact your local Court to find out what type of Self-Help is available.

  • Safe at Home Program California’s confidential address program.
  • Vinelink Provides information about the custody status of defendants.
  • Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Victims of Stalking Resource Center
  • Information for Teens