California Child Custody Resources and Support

Don't go through the child custody process on your own. Even if you can't afford an attorney, you have plenty of places to turn for support.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

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In-depth guides

Use the following to shepherd you and your family through the custody process.

Court resources

The state offers a self-help website, as do most superior courts. (Sites for the largest counties are listed below.) Many counties also have self-help centers, workshops and family law facilitators.

A family law facilitator is an attorney who doesn't represent anyone but instead provides free assistance to the public. This assistance may include help preparing custody schedules and completing forms. Facilitators aren't allowed to provide legal advice, and they can't work with you on issues for which you have an attorney. They often have limited time, so arrive prepared.

Start by exploring your court's self-help site:

Alameda Riverside
Contra Costa Sacramento
Fresno San Bernardino
Los Angeles San Diego
Orange County Santa Clara

Parenting education classes and co-parenting counseling

Parenting education classes can help you understand child development and how family dynamics affect your children. Co-parenting counseling, on the other hand, helps parents communicate and work together on parenting strategies.

Both can happen with the parents together or separate and can last as long as the court mandates or the parents and counselor see fit.

Sessions are often court-mandated, but they're available to anyone interested. For help finding a parenting educator or counselor in your area, contact your superior court's self-help center or family law facilitator.

Child support agencies

Child support payments in California are overseen by the state's Department of Child Support Services, with most operations handled by local offices. If you need help opening a case, enforcing support orders or locating the other parent, contact your local office. They often provide services for free and can help you resolve issues without going to court.

For kids and teens

The state has a booklet for children ― What's Happening in Court? ― available for download. In addition, the state website Families Change offers guides for kids and teens dealing with divorce or separation, along with a companion guide for parents.

Our professional sources

For more help, consider reaching out to one of our sources. The people and offices listed below have helped us with the intricacies of child custody in California, and we hope they can help you, too.

Faye Snyder, PsyD, Custody Evaluator
Bakersfield, CA

Herring Law Group
Santa Barbara and Oxnard, CA

Imperial County Superior Court
Scott Tepper, Family Law Facilitator
El Centro, CA

James F. Cox, Attorney at Law
Santa Clara County, CA

Koblin Family Law Center
Kennedy Koblin, Attorney at Law
Pleasanton, CA

Law Office of André J. Ausseresses, APC
André J. Ausseresses, Attorney at Law
Anaheim, CA

Law Office of David M. Kindopp
David M. Kindopp, Attorney at Law
Ukiah, CA

Law Office of Janet Syphers
Janet Syphers, Attorney at Law
San Jose, CA

Law Offices of Abbas Hadjian
Abbas Hadjian, Attorney at Law
Sherman Oaks, CA

Law Offices of Athar A. Khan
Athar A. Khan, Attorney at Law
Irvine, CA

Law Offices of Francesca M. Shahrouz
Francesca M. Shahrouz, Attorney at Law
Los Angeles, CA

Law Offices of Jane Chung
Eric Chung, Attorney at Law
Los Angeles, CA

Leichter Leichter-Maroko LLP
Alexandra Leichter, Attorney at Law
Beverly Hills, CA

Matthew Sullivan, PhD, Clinical Psychologist
Palo Alto, CA

Pacific Mediation Group
Jennifer Koslow, Certified Mediator
Oxnard, CA

Moradi Saslaw Family Law Attorneys
Patricia Van Haren, Attorney at Law
Newport Beach, CA

Russell Mediations
Karen Drury Russell, Family Law Mediator & Collaborative Attorney
Campbell, CA

Shebby | Barnett LLP
David P. Shebby, Attorney at Law
Los Angeles, CA

Smith Family Law
Stephen V. Smith, Attorney at Law
San Diego, CA

Siskiyou County Superior Court
Matthew Kane, Family Law Facilitator
Yreka, CA

The Law Collaborative, APC
Ty Supancic, Attorney at Law
Woodland Hills, CA

Unlimited Possibilities Child Custody and Mediation
Elena Hobbs-Minor, Parenting Plan Advisor
Menlo Park, CA

Custody X Change app

The process of deciding custody requires serious organization. You may need to create a parenting plan, draft multiple custody schedules, track your time with your child, calculate expenses and beyond.

The Custody X Change app enables you to do all of that in one place.

With a parenting plan template, custody calendars, a shared expenses tracker and more, Custody X Change makes sure you're prepared for whatever arises in your journey to child custody.

Take advantage of our technology to stay on top of all the moving parts of your case.

Visualize your schedule. Get a written parenting plan. Calculate your parenting time.

Make My California Plan Now

Explore examples of common schedules

Explore common schedules

What's your best schedule?

What's your best schedule?

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Join the 60,000+ other parents who have used our co-parenting tools

Organize your evidence

Track your expenses, journal what happens, and record actual time. Print organized, professional documents.

Co-parent civilly

Our parent-to-parent messaging system, which detects hostile language, lets you collaborate without the drama.

Get an accurate child support order

Child support is based on parenting time or overnights in most jurisdictions. Calculate time instead of estimating.

Succeed by negotiating

Explore options together with visual calendars and detailed parenting plans. Present alternatives and reach agreement.

Never forget an exchange or activity

Get push notifications and email reminders, sync with other calendar apps and share with the other parent.

Save up to $50,000 by avoiding court

Write your parenting agreement without lawyers. Our templates walk you through each step.

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