Guides to Family Law

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Most people believe they will be able to stay together when they get married or register a domestic partnership.  Sometimes, however, one or the other of the spouses or partners wants to end the relationship. If two people have had a child together and then decide to live separate lives, among the most difficult decisions they will have to make is how much time the child will spend living with each parent, and how the parents will share and divide their parenting responsibilities.

In this section there are two types of videos with information about how California’s court system works in family law cases. 

1. On several pages you will find videos with actors showing how people go through different kinds of family law court cases.

2. For videos with tutorials about family law cases, click here.

It is hoped that these videos will help you understand how the court can help you.

Please note:  LOW is a small video file best for people with dial-up connections. HIGH is a large video file best for people with DSL or high-speed connections. Pick the file type and computer program that's easiest for you to use. If the videos are not opening on your computer, it's possible that you need to upgrade your media player.  For a free upgrade, please go to:

High Conflict Families

It's sad but true that sometimes, when parents are having problems with each other, they involve their children in the conflict. These short skits are designed to help parents see how their conflicts hurt their children, and to suggest new ways to communicate with each other that would make life a whole lot easier.

(48 seconds)
Part 2:  Father Has to Change Weekends
(2:52 minutes)
Part 1:  Friday Night Exchange
(3:07 minutes)
Part 3:  Children in the Middle
(4:28 minutes)

Our Children, Our Future

These four segments follow child support from the beginning of a case through possible court action.  It was created by the Department of Child Support Services in Contra Costa County, California.

Part 1  (27:19 minutes) Part 3  (29:09 minutes)
Part 2  (27:45 minutes) Part 4  (25:00 minutes)

More Family Law Guides

"It Takes Two"

Follow two teens and their friends, beginning the night of junior prom and ending a year later in a courtroom where they learn first-hand the legal and financial realities when there is an unexpected child. To watch and/or listen to the "It Takes Two" series, click here.