Search the Issue Archive

Volume20
Year2012
TitleThe Role of the Family Law Facilitator in Modification of Support Awards
Author(s)Melissa Schmidt
First Page295
AbstractThe parent or ex-spouse obligee who wants a court to modify a support award must negotiate a complex and crowded system. The same holds true for the obligor who wants to resist a modification. Procedures must be followed. Forms must be filled out, filed, and served. Evidence must be marshaled to prove?or to disprove?a material change of circumstances. Most parents and ex-spouses who desire modification of a support award have no attorney to represent them, and they will have problems in trying to comply with these requirements. Their problems will become the problems of the court system that has invited them to file their motions and demand their hearings on support modification.
The Family Law Facilitator Act responds to these problems by requiring California?s superior courts to offer the assistance of a lawyer?a family law facilitator (FLF)?to self-represented support obligees and obligors. In this paper I summarize the origin and evolution of California?s FLF program and then discuss the role of San Diego County?s FLFs, paying special attention to their role in proceedings to modify a child support award.