Persons wishing to terminate their marital or domestic partner relationship may file for divorce, legal separation, or annulment. Issues of child custody, visitation, support, and property division may also be resolved in those cases.
Parents who are not married may file a parentage (paternity) action to establish the existence of a parent-child relationship. Besides determining the existence (or non-existence) of a parent-child relationship, issues of child custody, visitation, and support may also be addressed.
Persons involved in situations where abuse has occurred (or threats of abuse) between them and a person they have a close personal relationship with, may apply for domestic violence restraining orders in Family Court.
Family law cases involve serious, and often complex, legal issues. Consider consulting with a family law attorney before you make the choice to represent yourself. If you decide to represent yourself and need general legal information or help in filling out court forms, self-help services are available through the Family Law Facilitator's Office. Detailed information can also be located on the Judicial Council of California's Self-Help website.
For certain actions, you may be eligible for a free attorney through the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act.