California Family Law Court

The California Family Law Courts handle all case matters related to family matters and domestic relations in each county’s Superior Court. This division also handles all juvenile cases.

Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

To file for dissolution of marriage in the state of California, you or your spouse must have been a resident in California for the last six (6) months AND have been a resident in the county for which you file for the last three (3) months. California is a no-fault divorce state which allows for granting of the dissolution of marriage without requiring the showing of wrongdoing by either party.

Restraining Orders

A restraining order or protective order can protect someone from being abused (sexually or physically), harassed, threatened, or stalked. The individual who files for the restraining order is known as the protected person. The individual who the restraining order is filed against is known as the restrained person. Generally, restraining orders can prohibit specific acts by the restrained person against the protected person including: contacting, calling, sending messages, attacking, and stalking. A restraining order can also have a stay away order requiring the restrained person to maintain a certain distance (ie. 150 yards) from the protected person.

There are 4 kinds of orders you can request:

  • Workplace Violence Restraining Order
  • Elder or Dependent Adult Abuse Restraining Order
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Order
  • Civil Harassment Restraining Order
  • Spousal Support

    When a couple divorces or legally separates, the court may order one spouse or domestic partner to pay support to the other. This is referred to as “spousal support” for married couples, and “partner support” for domestic relationships. These is often a very complex legal matters, consult with an attorney or the Family Law Facilitator for additional information on your options.

    Domestic Violence

    Domestic violence cases are sometimes handled in the criminal court system, while others are handled in the family law court.

    Legal Separation

    A legal separation does not terminate a marriage or domestic partnership. A legal separation is used by couples who do not want to get divorced, but want to live separately and resolve child, property and money issues. In California, you do not need to meet residency requirements to file for separation. You can file for separation and later amend it to file for divorce. In a legal separation, you can ask for spousal support, custody and visitation and any other orders you would just like a divorce case. While legally separated, you cannot marry another person or enter into a domestic partnership.

    Child Visitation and Custody

    Child visitation and custody issues are often a complex issue. A licensed attorney or the Family Law Facilitator would be able to assist you in resolving these issues. Every county in California has a Family Law Facilitator who can assist with filing forms, explaining options and how the court decides child custody issues. Please see your county court page for information about contacting the Family Law Facilitator for your county.

    Child Support

    Child support is the money that the court orders one (or both) parents to pay every month for the support of the child (or children). Every county in California has a Family Law Facilitator who can assist in filing forms, calculating child support using the guidelines, and explain how the court makes Child Support decisions. Please see your county court page for information about contacting the Family Law Facilitator for your county.

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