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WashingtonLawHelp.orgWashington LawHelp

Services for Family Court Cases in WA

Authored By: Northwest Justice Project LSC Funded

Some superior courts have family law facilitator programs to help you represent yourself in court and parenting seminars you might have to attend. If you do not get help from a lawyer, you may be able to from a facilitator. #3246EN

Contents

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What is a Family Law Facilitator?

Some superior courts in Washington have facilitator programs. They will help you represent yourself in court. If you do not get help from a lawyer, you might be able to from a facilitator.

Facilitators help with family law cases and, in King County, with guardianship of an adult. They are not lawyers. They can answer general questions and help with child support calculation.

They cannot

  • Give legal advice.

  • Tell you how to fill out forms.

  • Make a decision for you.

If you have general questions about local rules or filling out a form, start with the facilitator. Facilitator programs differ by county. They can

  • Sell forms for a fee.

  • Tell you where to get forms online.

  • Give you free "how-to" instructions.

  • Send you instructions by mail or email.

 

How can I find out what the facilitator in my county does?

Call the facilitator in the county where your case is filed to ask. Check the statewide directory. They can tell you

  • what services or classes they have

  • can they help by phone or email

 

Do I have to pay the facilitator?

Probably. Most charge a fee. Some use a sliding scale. The fees can be anywhere from $20 to $75.

 

What is a parenting seminar?

Some counties call it a parent education workshop or parenting class. When your case involves child custody, you might have to go to this.

You must go to this seminar by a deadline and give the court proof (a certificate) that you went to it. You should only go to a seminar run by a court-approved provider. Check the court's website or ask the court clerk for provider names.

 

Do I have to go to a parenting seminar? I don't want to run into my spouse there.

Maybe not. If you show good reasons not to, the court can waive (excuse) you from going.

Some examples of good cause:

  • it is not in your child's best interest

  • your safety or your child's safety is an issue

*If the court does not waive your attendance, and you do not go to a seminar or you delay going, it may negatively affect the final parenting plan.

Parenting seminar fees vary. Many counties use a sliding scale. If you really cannot afford to pay, read Ask the Court to Waive Your Filing Fee.

 

Does my county require a parenting seminar?

Not all of them do. Call the superior court clerk for the county where your case is filed to ask.

 

What are Family Law Orientations (FLO's)?

Some counties have these. An FLO gives you

  • a summary of how the court process works

  • information on resources that can help you if you are representing yourself

*You do not have to go to the FLO at the same time as the other party.

 

Get Legal Help

Visit Northwest Justice Project to find out how to get legal help. 

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Last Review and Update: Mar 15, 2021
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