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Self-Help Center/Family Law Facilitators (SHC/FLF) Office
This page has information about getting help in person from the Court's Self-Help Centers/Family Law Facilitator (SHC/FFL) offices. You can also read about the Children's Waiting Rooms in San Jose and South County, which can be used by people getting help or doing legal business in those two courthouses.
Help at Our Centers
Read this handout for information on How to Use the Self-Help Center/ FLF Office  and visit our Self-Help Workshop page. Also see the Do It Yourself Resources flyer  for a list useful phone #'s & websites.

SHC/FLF Offices

If you live in Santa Clara County, you can come in person to the Self-Help Center Office/Family Law Facilitator's (SHC/FLF) Office in downtown San Jose, Morgan Hill and Sunnyvale. Read this flyer for hours and locations  of the Court's SHC/FLF offices. The SHC/FLF can help guide you through the court system in Santa Clara County.

NEW! Fill out the Self-Help Question web form to submit a question to the Self-Help Center and get help by email!

This section will give you answers to these questions:

  1. Where are the SHC/FLF offices located and when are they open?
  2. Do I need an appointment for the SHC/FLF?
  3. How can the SHC/FLF help me?
  4. Are there lawyers at the SHC/FLF?
  5. Can I get help with forms?
  6. Do I need to bring anything to the SHC/FLF?
  7. What if I have or used to have a lawyer?
  8. What if I don’t speak English?
  9. Can I bring my children?
  10. Complaints

1. Where are the SHC/FLF offices located and when are they open?

Read this flyer with hours and locations  of the court's SHC/FLF offices.

The main San Jose SHC/FLF office is in the Notre Dame Courthouse in downtown San Jose. The South County Courthouse SHC/FLF is at the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill. The Sunnyvale Courthouse SHC/FLF is at the Sunnyvale Courthouse. Again, check the SHC/FLF flyer with hours and locations .

2. Do I need an appointment for the SHC/FLF?

No. Just come in. You’ll get a number when you arrive. We help people on a first come, first serve basis. People arrive early for help, before the courthouse opens.

The SHC/FLF offers workshops for some legal issues. Check out the Self-Help Workshop page to see if they offer a workshop that can help you.

Get help by email! Fill out the Self-Help Question web form to submit a question to the Self-Help Center and SHC staff will respond by email.

3. How can the SHC/FLF help me?

We can refer you to the resources you need for your Court case. We can give you information, provide legal forms (including form samples and instructions), refer you to other court resources or a private agency, or recommend you talk to a lawyer. If you cannot afford a lawyer, we can tell you about free and low-cost legal resources.

Family Law help that we provide includes information on how to get, change or enforce/collect child or spousal support, how to get, change or enforce custody or visitation orders, and establish parentage when the parents are not married. We can help parents make up and write agreements about support, custody and/or visitation.

We can help with calculations for California State "guideline" child support. Please bring a paystub or other proof of income, income tax return for you, and any information you have about how much money the other parent makes. You can also refer to this free online calculator  for an estimate.

4. Are there lawyers at the SHC/FLF offices?

There is a lawyer at the office. The lawyer is there to help you learn about your legal rights and responsibilities. They cannot give legal advice or tell you the best way to deal with your case. They can only give you information and options about a limited number of issues. They will either help you at the SHC/FLF office, refer you to other organizations that can help you, or refer you to a private attorney.

5. Can I get help with forms?

Yes. Staff or interns can review forms you fill out following the samples that the SHC/FLF provides.

The SHC/FLF has printed information and forms for some civil cases, family law cases, unlawful detainer cases, guardianship, conservatorship and some probate cases, fee waiver applications, and all approved Judicial Council forms.

We also have pamphlets and books on many topics including divorce, tenants’ rights and guardianships.

6. Do I need to bring anything to the SHC/FLF?

If you already have a court case, bring copies of all papers in your court file.

If you are thinking about filing a lawsuit, bring all the information and documents you have related to your case.

If you are being sued, bring copies of all documents you were served or got from court.

Read this flyer, How to Use the Self-Help Center (Family Law Facilitator's Office) , for important specific information about what you need to bring!

7. What if I have or used to have a lawyer?

If you have a lawyer now, we cannot help you with your case.

If you had a lawyer before, but do not have one now, you must bring a written, filed court order that proves you do not have a lawyer now.

8. What if I don’t speak English?

If you do not speak English, please bring your own translator/interpreter who is fluent and who can read and write.

9. Can I bring my children?

Next to the "SHC/FLF Offices" gray tab above there is a blue tab that says "Children's Waiting Room." Click on that tab for information about the CWR.

10. Complaints

If you have a complaint about the service you received at the FLF, please print, complete and return the Customer Complaint Form  in person or by mail to: Superior Court, 191 North First St.,San Jose, CA 95113. The procedures are on page 1, and the form is on page 2. This form is not for complaining about a court order that you don't agree with.

Children's Waiting Room

Children's Waiting Room (CWR)

If your children are between 2 and 12 years old, you can take them to the Notre Dame Courthouse Children's Waiting Room or the South County Courthouse Children's Waiting Room, Morgan Hill, while you visit the SHC/FLF in those courthouses.

If you have court-related things to take care of, it is free!

You should make an appointment in advance. If you come without an appointment, the CWRs will take children on a first come, first served basis. Come early because you will have to fill out forms before you can drop your children off.

Scroll to read more about the Children's Waiting Rooms.

Where are the CWRs located?

There are Children's Waiting Rooms in the Notre Dame Courthouse in downtown San Jose, and in the South County Courthouse in Morgan Hill. Click on the Notre Dame Courthouse page or the South County Courthouse page for the address, directions, and map to the courthouses.

You and your children will have to go through a metal detector to get inside either of the courthouses where the CWRs are located.

What are the hours of the CWRs?

The CWRs are open Monday – Friday: 8:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:15 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. They are closed on court holidays.

How can I reach the CWRs by phone?

CWR at Notre Dame: when calling the Notre Dame Courthouse main phone number, (408) 882-2900 , select option 8 for the Children's Waiting Room.

CWR at South County: when calling the South County Courthouse main phone number, (408) 695-5000 , select option 7 for the Children's Waiting Room and then select option 6.

How much does the CWR cost?

If you have court-related things to take care of, it is free!

What ages of children can stay at the CWR?

Children must be between the ages of 2 through 12

.

What activities can children do while they are at the CWRs?

Teachers provide enriching activities such as arts and crafts, puzzles and games, books, and music.

How long can I leave my children at the CWR?

Children can use the CWRs for up to 4 hours a day, but not more than 12 hours a week, on a first come, first served basis. No more that 6 children can be cared for at either of the CWRs at any given time.

The parents must remain in the courthouse during the time their child is staying at the CWR.

How are children kept safe at the CWRs?

Safety for the children who use the CWRs is the most important concern of the Court. Only the person who checked the child into a CWR can take the child away from that CWR and can enter the CWR where the child is staying.

Every child will receive a bracelet that records important identification information.

What forms are required before I can leave my child at one of the CWRs?

If you want to use the CWR while you are in the Notre Dame or South County Courthouse, you must complete certain forms. The forms must be completed ahead of time.

These forms are:

Parent Agreement Form:

Registration Form:

The above forms can be downloaded from this website - click on the links to open the forms, fill them out and bring them with you to the CWR. The forms are also included in packets available in the Clerk’s Office and the Children's Waiting Room at the Notre Dame Courthouse or the South County Courthouse.

© 2014 Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara