This article provides information on what a family law facilitator (herein after referred to as “facilitator”) is and can and cannot do in terms of providing you assistance with your family legal situation. Each California Superior Court should have an attorney or facilitator office (sometimes called the family court clinic) that can provide free help with your family legal related matters. These attorneys work at the court facilitator’s office. Some facilitator office’s have both attorneys and paralegals on staff to provide non-legal assistance to consumers seeking help with their family legal issues.
What a Family Law Facilitator Can Do – The services provided at the California Superior Court by each facilitator office at can vary. In some counties the family law facilitator can show you how to fill out court forms, help you with your dissolution or divorce or child custody issues while others do not. Some counties limit the facilitator’s services to only child support issues, spousal support issues and protracted health insurance cases. In some counties a facilitator can meet with you individually and provide you information and options but cannot act as your attorney, represent you or provide you with legal advice.
What a Family Law Facilitator Office Cannot Do – A facilitator cannot be your attorney and represent you on your case. Also, a family law facilitator does not provide you with legal advice. You’ll need to hire your own attorney for legal advice about your situation and strategy for your case. As a result, there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the court facilitator. The facilitator is available to the public and can therefore typically help you and the other party. Notably, your communication with the facilitator may not be private or confidential. If that’s the case, if the facilitator office is subpoenaed to court there may not be an attorney-client privilege that would protect your conversation and make it confidential.
For local family law facilitator rules and information you would do well to consult your local California Superior Court facilitator office. For legal advice about your situation however, you’ll want to consult with an attorney in your area to find out where you stand legally on this matter, how the law applies to your situation and what your legal options are.
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