Divorce in San Diego in 2013: Some Important Procedures
All divorce cases in San Diego have the same procedural proceedings. First, you must be a resident of the State of California for at least six months and a resident of the County of San Diego for at least three months in order to file your divorce case in San Diego County or the spouse must meet these same requirements: three months residence in San Diego County and State of California residence for six months. If you or your spouse meet these requirements, then you can file in San Diego for a divorce.FILING THE PETITION AND SUMMONS FOR DIVORCE AND THE MOTION FOR TEMPORARY ORDERS
The first proceeding is the filing of the Petition and Summons in San Diego Superior Court. This filing gives the San Diego Judge power and authority to make orders in your divorce case including division of assets, division of debts, support both child and spousal and parenting plan orders which include visitation and custody. As such, the first pleadings filed may include a Request for Order to issues such as custody, visitation, spousal support, child support and division of debts and assets. Filing these pleadings will result in an earlier court date than the normal court date which is set when the initial pleadings are filed. A Proof of Personal Service, or a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt, is then filed with the Court. This will act as the “six month waiting period” commonly referred to before a spouse can be legally single and eligible to remarry.FILING THE RESPONSE TO THE DIVORCE AND ALSO ANY RESPONSE TO THE TEMPORARY ORDER MOTION
The second proceeding, normally, will be the filing of the Response. If a Request for Order is filed, then the responsive pleadings for this motion will also be filed with the Response in many cases. These can be mailed to the Petitioner [first party who files procedurally] and then a Proof of Service by Mail filed with the Court.FAMILY COURT SERVICES IS MANDATORY IN SAN DIEGO COUNTY FOR DISPUTES REGARDING THE PARENTING PLAN
Whenever a parenting plan involving children is before the San Diego Superior Court Judge, there will be a mediation hearing. This is not before the Judge and is with the San Diego Family Court Services. There are Family Court Services in the court houses in downtown San Diego, El Cajon, Chula Vista and Vista. The San Diego Court’s hire Licensed Clinical Social Workers to meet with parents and try to get the parents to reach an agreement since all believe it is better for the children’s parents to agree where their children will live and the schedule rather than a stranger such as a Judge. Since San Diego is a recommending County, if the parents do not reach an agreement at the mandatory mediation, then the mediator prepares a written recommendation and a copy is given to both sides and the Judge. Under local rules, both parties have a right to have a copy of the Family Court Services Written Recommendations at least ten days before the hearing.FAMILY RESOLUTION CONFERENCE
Often, the Court will set an “FRC” to keep track of the status of the case. It is important to make sure the preliminary declarations of disclosure are completed and served and the proof of service filed in compliance with the California Family Law Code.A LAW FIRM WHO CAN HELP
The law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC is a local based law firm in San Diego. This law firm is familiar with the complex procedures for a divorce and offers a private and free consultation. Please call them to set your appointment today and they can help you through this most difficult and frustrating time.