The Family Law unit of the Superior Court deals with matters of the household or family, including dissolutions of marriage (divorce), legal separation, child custody, support, and domestic violence.
The Family Law Clerk's Office is located at 1100 I Street, Modesto, CA. Office hours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00 AM through 3:00 PM.* and Friday from 8 AM to 12:00 PM. The phone number to reach the clerk's office during office hours is (209) 530-3100.
Effective March 4, 2013, Clerk's Office Research Window hours are changing:
8:00 AM - 12:45 PM Monday - Thursday
8:00 AM - 12:00 PM on Friday
Family Law Request for Order and Temporary Restraining Order pickup hours are from 2:30 p.m. through 3:00 p.m. Requests for Orders that are submitted by 8:45 a.m. are available for pickup the following court day from 2:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Family Law lobby, which is located at 1100 I Street, Window #1. Questions or business other than order pick up must be addressed in the Family Law Clerk's office during normal business hours.
An Emergency Filing Drop Box is available for documents submitted after normal business hours. Documents stamped after 4:00 p.m. will be filemarked the following day, and documents stamped up to and including 4:00 p.m. will be filed as of the date received and stamped. See Document Guidelines for filing in the Drop Box.
Judicial Council forms, local forms, packets and information are available in the following locations:
- Local Forms
- Judicial Council’s Self-Help website
- For more information on Libraries, Websites, or Self-Help Legal Books
- California’s Free Website for Legal Help
Superior Court’s Self Help Center at 800 11th Street, Room 220, Modesto, CA from 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM Monday - Thursday CLOSED on Fridays.
Family Law Clerk's Office at 1100 I Street, Modesto, CA during regular business hours. Forms are also available by mail at PO Box 1098, Modesto, CA 95353-1098.
*NOTE: Hours for research window will be changing effective March 4, 2013: 8:00 a.m. - 12:45 p.m Monday through Thursday. 8:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. on Friday.
- Stanislaus County Law Library located at 1101 13th Street, Modesto, CA.
Filings may be submitted in person, by mail or by fax. For more information regarding fax filing requirements, please refer to the following link: http://www.stanct.org/Content.aspx?page=civil_fax_and_filing. The mailing address for for the Clerk's Office is PO Box 1098, Modesto, CA 95353. Documents submitted for filing by mail must include the appropriate filing fees as well as a self addressed stamped envelope for return of documents or conformed copies of documents.
For additional information on fees required for filing family law cases, please refer to the following link: http://www.courts.ca.gov/7646.htm.
The purpose of the Clerk's Office is to process and file documents which have been presented either at the counter or by mail and provide clerical support and calendars for the courtrooms in Family Law.
State law prohibits the court staff from giving legal advice. If you need legal advice, you may consult an attorney or you may wish to do your own research at the Law Library located at 1101 13th Street, Modesto, CA.
You may obtain a hearing date by filing an Request for Order in an existing case. Hearings involving custody or visitation issues are calendared at 8:30 a.m. Monday through Thursday.
Hearings involving economic issues, such as child or family support, are calendared at 9:00 a.m., Monday through Thursday, and are generally set approximately two weeks after custody or visitation hearings.
Monitors located in the lobby inside the 800 11th Street entrance to the main courthouse provide information regarding the department where your hearing will be held. Departments 13 and 14 are both located in the basement of the main courthouse. Department 25 is located on the second floor of the main courthouse.
Tentative Ruling Process for Family Law Motions
THE COURT WILL ISSUE A TENTATIVE RULING ANNOUNCEMENT ON THE COURT DAY PRIOR
TO THE SCHEDULED HEARING ON THE FOLLOWING TYPES OF MOTIONS:
· Motion to Compel Discovery
· Motion to Withdraw as Attorney of Record/Counsel
· Motion for Alternate Valuation Date
· Motion to Set Aside Default/Judgment
· Motion for Reconsideration of Order
· Motion for Bifurcation of Marital Status/Economics Issues
· Motion for Joinder of Parties
· Motion to Amend Pleadings (added 1/10/06)
· Motion for Change of Venue
· Motion for New Trial
· Motion to Enforce Judgment
· Motion to Award or Divide Omitted Assets or Debts
· Motion to Modify Judgment
· Any Motion Specifically Determined at Judge’s discretion
· QDRO - Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
· Vocational Exam
· Change of Name
TENTATIVE RULINGS WILL BE POSTED IN THE FOLLOWING LOCATIONS BY 1:30 PM
ON THE COURT DAY PRIOR TO THE HEARING:
- INTERNET: The Tentative Ruling Announcement will be posted on the Court's website at the following link:
- CLERK’S OFFICE LOBBY: CHECK THE POSTING IN THE CLERK’S OFFICE LOBBY.
- COURTROOM DOORS: CHECK THE POSTING ON THE OUTER DOOR OF THE ASSIGNED COURTROOM (DEPARTMENT 13, 14 or 25)
- NOTE: Telephonic announcements of the Tentative Rulings are NOT available.
IF THE TENTATIVE RULING IN YOUR CASE IS SATISFACTORY, YOU DO NOT NEED TO APPEAR at the scheduled hearing time, THE RULING BECOMES FINAL, and the prevailing party prepares the order, UNLESS the other party requests a hearing.
IF YOU ARE NOT SATISFIED with the Tentative Ruling and wish to appear and argue the
matter, YOU MUST NOTIFY the Clerk’s office and opposing counsel of your intent BEFORE
4:00 p.m. ON THE COURT DAY PRIOR TO THE SCHEDULED HEARING DATE to request an
IF YOU WISH TO REQUEST A HEARING, you may request a hearing by:
1) Calling (209) 530-3107 before 4:00 P.M. This phone number is only for requesting a
hearing on a tentative ruling. Any other questions or business will need to be
conducted during normal business hours.
2) Sending an email to: email@example.com. Email requests must
be made prior to 4:00 P.M. AND must be confirmed by a return e-mail from the clerk's
If you do not receive a confirmation e-mail from the clerk, you MUST call (209) 530-3107
to ensure the court receives your request for hearing.
IF YOU ARE NOTIFIED BY THE OTHER PARTY THAT THEY HAVE REQUESTED A HEARING, YOU MUST APPEAR AT THE SCHEDULED HEARING TIME.
Self Help Information
You can also visit the Self-Help Center at the California Courts website at http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.htm.
The State Bar of California has helpful information in several free booklets, including one on Kids & The Law.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Stanislaus County is a non-profit 501(C)3 organization that recruits, screens, trains and supervises volunteer advocates to fact find and report to the Superior Court what is in the BEST INTEREST of the child. CASA advocates for children who are dependents of the court due to various situations of abuse and neglect.
Your Public Law Library, by The Council of California County Law Librarians
Contra Costa County has a Virtual Self-Help Center. The site has many instructive videos that provide information about the process and about how to complete required Judicial Council forms. Keep in mind some of their forms are for their county and may not apply to other counties.
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THE INFORMATION POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE OR TO TAKE THE PLACE OF THE ASSISTANCE OF COMPETENT LEGAL COUNSEL. YOU SHOULD SPEAK TO AN ATTORNEY OF YOUR CHOICE FOR SPECIFIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE FACTS OF YOUR CASE AND YOUR RIGHTS.