Part One: FAQ's for San Diego Family Law Cases Including Divorce, Paternity and Legal Separation With Answers: 2014

WHAT ARE THE GROUNDS FOR A DIVORCE OR LEGAL SEPARATION IN SAN DIEGO?

The grounds for a legal separation or a divorce are exactly the same and there are only two: incurable insanity and irreconcilable differences. While many spouses claim that their spouse is mentally unbalanced, incurable insanity requires an expert medical opinion and is extremely rarely used as the grounds for a legal separation or divorce in San Diego Superior Court. The most common ground, by far, is irreconcilable differences. Irreconcilable differences are subjective and not objective and can range from infidelity to what many may describe as trivial differences. In San Diego, even if one party does not want a legal separation or divorce, the Court will grant as long as all of the mandatory requirements are met.

WHAT ARE THE AUTOMATIC TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDERS IN A LEGAL SEPARATION OR DIVORCE AND WHEN ARE THEY EFFECTIVE?

When the Petition is filed, it is served with the Summons along with the other mandatory forms for service. In the Summons are contained ATRO’s [automatic temporary restraining orders]. These ATRO’s are valid upon the Petitioner when filed and upon the Respondent when served. These are standard and the same in all family law cases and there is no distinction between a divorce or legal separation in these orders. These orders expire when the final Judgment is entered. Pending entry of final Judgment, below is a partial list of the ATRO’s. It is very important to understand these so you can make sure to be in compliance with the law. Make sure the review the entire Summons [and all pleadings of course] in your case. Violations of these orders can result in sanctions as well as contempt of Court.

-restrained from the minor children of the parents being removed from the State of California without an Order of the Court or written consent of the other party
-notify the other party for extra ordinary expenses a minimum of five days prior to incurring these and provide a full accounting
-restrained from modifying a non probate transfer which affects the property disposition subject to transfer without written consent of the other party or a Court order
-restrained, except for necessities of life or in the normal course of business, from disposing, concealing, encumbering, hypothecating or transferring any personal or real property [whether quasi community, separate or community in character] with a Court order or written consent of the other party

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I AM A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE?

If you are injured by your spouse or your children are injured, you should contact the San Diego Police Department [or your local law enforcement agency] immediately. The police have the authority to call a Judge [referred to as an “On Call Judicial Officer”] and the Judge can authorize the police to issue an Emergency Protective Order immediately. An Emergency Protective Order can include you and your children and is effective for five court days or seven calendar days. If the police will not issue an EPO or you need longer protection than the time period for the EPO, you will need to file a Temporary Restraining Order in Family Law Court. A Temporary Restraining Order can be filed with no notice to the opposing party and a Judge will review and decide whether or not to issue the TRO. If the TRO is issued, the Court will set a date within 21 days for the Permanent Restraining Order hearing. The TRO is effective upon the other party after valid service. A Judge can make a permanent restraining order for much longer than an EPO.

HOW CAN A SAN DIEGO FAMILY LAW FIRM HELP ME?

Doppelt & Forney, APLC is a local law firm with experience in representing clients in family law cases in San Diego. A free consultation with an attorney from their firm can allow you to make more informed and intelligent decisions about your pending case. With no obligation and no cost, the free consultation is a good place to start to learn about realistic expectations for your case as well as strategies and techniques which will start to assist to obtain your goals.

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