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There are many court houses in San Diego County. Not all of the court houses have a family law department. Where you live [or your spouse lives or children live in San Diego County] will determine which court house will hear your paternity, legal separation or divorce case. The court houses which hear family law cases are five total. The main court house is located at 1555 Sixth Avenue in downtown San Diego. This court house is solely for family law and is the only court house in San Diego where only paternity, legal separation and divorce cases are heard. The other court house downtown is only 2 blocks away. This court house is called the Madge Bradley and is located at 1409 Fourth Avenue. The two family law court rooms are on the 6th floor. The court house is South San Diego County is located at 500 Third Avenue. The court house in East San Diego County is located at 250 East Main Street. The court house in North San Diego County is located at 325 South Melrose.WHERE CAN I PARK?
Going to court can be a very stressful and frustrating experience and this can be increased greatly by being late because you cannot find a parking space. San Diego court houses, except for the ones in downtown San Diego, all have free parking however the spaces are limited. It is advised to be at court early since being late can result in a negative ruling by default. If your case is in one of the two downtown locations, you have two choices: meter or lot. A ticket can cost over $40 and there are some spaces which are towed during certain hours of the day and coming back from court and getting a ticket and/or your car is not there will be a bad way to end the day no matter what happened in court. Make sure to bring enough quarters if you are parking at the meters since getting change can be difficult without making a purchase.WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
Of course, your appearance is very important. Remember, the Judge does not know you or know anything about you. You will be judged on your demeanor and credibility and the way you present yourself and many other factors. Always wear professional attire to court. This would eliminate shorts and t shirts and flip flops and other beach wear.SCREENING AT COURT HOUSE
All who enter the court house [public] have to go through the screening process. This includes an X-Ray of bags and briefcases and a metal detector to walk through. Do not bring weapons or contraband into the court house. Every year, there are arrests of persons at the security checkpoint and you will miss your court hearing and also then face criminal charges as well as your ongoing family law case.HOW SHOULD I PREPARE?
This is most important and this depends on whether you will be testifying in court or not. If you are testifying in court, it is important to rehearse and practice what you will say. It is a very good idea to actually conduct your examination [direct and cross] with someone who can critique you. If you take any documents to the stand to use or refresh your memory, then the opposing side can ask to see these so make sure there is no confidential information. If you are self represented, then you will have to testify yourself and then cross examine the opposing party. For the cross examination, you can have a list of questions or notes to help you. Make sure to review all pleadings files before going to court.DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY?
This is a question often asked. If you were married less than five years and have no minor children and have minimal community property assets and debts and neither party will be awarded spousal support, then you can ask for a summary dissolution if both parties agree on all. If one party does not agree on all, even with the above factors, then you will need to file for a non summary dissolution. If you have disputes regarding your parenting plan, you should seriously consider hiring an attorney. If you have disputes on support, you also may need to hire an attorney. If you have issues with division of assets or debts or separate property claims, you may want to use an attorney’s services.HOW A LAW FIRM CAN HELP
The law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC is located conveniently on the I-15 at Bernardo Center Drive. Easy to work with including free parking and an elevator. The office is staffed full time and the attorneys and legal staff are at this main office and this is not a satellite. Feel free to contact their office for a complimentary and confidential consultation.