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Court proceedings involving divorce and other family law matters are often emotional and difficult times for all persons involved. It is highly advisable to consult with an attorney who will represent you and your interests.

If, however, you choose to represent yourself, Family Court Services can help you move your case through the court process. When you represent yourself, you are called "PRO SE", and you must follow all the same rules and procedures, the same as an attorney.

The Family Law Self-Help Program for Charlotte County is located in the Charlotte County Justice Center in Punta Gorda. The Law Library, on the ground floor, is a good place to begin. There you will find self-help materials, provided for pro se litigants. More limited materials are also available in the Civil Clerk's area (1st Floor), and in the Court Administration Lobby (2nd Floor).

Charlotte County Law Library

  A self-help resource and work area is set aside in the Charlotte County Law Library. The Charlotte County Bar Association has provided reading materials for non-attorneys, as well as other legal materials. The Family Law Self-Help program materials and checklists are also available. Computers and printers are provided by the Clerk of Court to provide access to the Clerk's website and Florida Courts forms. The Law Library is located on the ground-floor of the Charlotte County Justice Center, just beyond the elevators. The Law Library is self-service, with an "honor-system" for copier & printer use; it is open to the public during regular business hours.

You will meet with a Case Manager for a Case Management Conference (CMC) several weeks after the case is opened. At that time, the Case Manager will identify missing documents/pleadings and make recommendations, including mediation if appropriate, to keep your case moving. Family Law Case Managers are not permitted to provide legal advice or interpret your legal situation. You may request an appointment with a Case Manager prior to or following the CMC, by submitting a written request (blue form), as noted below. Walk-in services are not available unless an appointment is made in advance.


  1. Case Management Conferences(CMCs) are conducted by a Family Law Case Manager, every Wednesday. These are usually the first "formal" review of your case. Subsequent scheduling/rescheduling notices are mailed to you by a Case Manager.
  2. CMC participants should bring calendars for coordination of future CMCs and/or Mediation.
  3. Self Represented (pro se) litigants may request assistance from the Self-Help Program by using the "Request For Family Law Self-Help Services" form (blue).
  4. Pro se litigants opening a new case may review the "No Existing Case" (Petitioner's) Packet (yellow).
  5. Upon being served, self-represented Parties may review the "Respondent's Packet" (green).
  6. For pro se litigants wishing to re-open a case or file a motion in a current case, please use the "Re-Opened/On-Going Cases" (Petitioner or Respondent) packet (white).
  7. Checklists for each identified packet are provided without cost in the Law Library (Justice Center Ground-Floor). Click here to review all available checklists.
  8. Pre-printed packets of instructions and required forms may be purchased at the Charlotte County Clerk's Civil Office (Justice Center/1st Floor).
  9. For general information about procedures and resources a Self-Help Program Brochure has been developed. Click here to view/download a copy of the Self-help Program brochure.

*The Family Law Self-help forms and brochure mentioned above are also available in the Law Library, Civil Clerk's office, and Court Administration lobby.


Family court forms packets are available for all of the above areas in the Family Court Office or you can download individual forms you need at either of the following websites:

Florida State Courts Family Court Forms


A "Parent Education and Family Stabilization Course" is required for all parties in a paternity case or dissolution of marriage case in which there are children. Click below to see a list of courses in the state of Florida approved by the Department of Children and Families for this purpose. Scroll down to the 20th Judicial Circuit to see the courses available in our area with a link to the website for course signup.



In order to provide a child-focused alternative dispute resolution process, a parenting coordinator assists the parents in making a parenting plan by facilitating the resolution of disputes between the parents by: [1] providing education, [2] making recommendations, and [3] making limited decisions within the scope of the court's order and parents' prior approval. The Parenting Coordinator Application Form and Training Standards may be found here: Parenting Coordinator Application Form and Training Standards


Phone: (941) 637-2399 or (941) 833-3064
Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


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