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There are many Codes [laws] which are in effect in San Diego. These impact all family law cases including divorce, legal separation and paternity. Many of the codes are “cross over” meaning that one Code is relevant to other Codes. Below is a list of Codes which are important to consider in your pending case. This is not an exhaustive or complete list and selected issues within the Codes to explain how they can interact. Issues such as visitation and custody and spousal and child support can be affected by Codes other than the Family Law Code. Doppelt and Forney, APLC is a full service law firm in San Diego and available for legal representation for your case.
Family Law Code: this is the primary Code. These laws include how a Judge makes a decision as to where the child or children will live and what factors are used. These include best interest and health and welfare and safety among many others. Also, this Code is used for child support calculations as well as spousal support both temporary and permanent. Also, the division of assets and debts is governed by this Code.
Constitution of the State of California Code: These laws are the foundation of rights for all. These include the right to due process of law. Due process of law is critical for protection of rights. For example, in a move away case where both parents have an equal time share and joint legal and physical custody, due process would require an evidentiary hearing where oral testimony could be presented and evidence could be submitted to the Court. There are many other due process rights.
Code of Civil Procedure: Whether your request for order is for child support or spousal support or attorney fees or custody and visitation [absent an ex parte or other emergency hearing such as a temporary restraining order], the motion must be properly filed and served. These procedures are governed under the Code of Civil Procedure. Unless a Court orders otherwise or there is an exception specifically provided for by law, all moving and support pleadings must be served and filed a minimum of 16 court days before the hearing. If served by mail [and not personally served], then the time period increases depending whether mail service is within California or within the United States or outside the United States. Also, for some pleadings, service by mail is not valid. One example is a petition and summons for dissolution of marriage. These must be personally served with the exceptions of a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt or Order for Publication. Reply pleadings must be filed a minimum of nine court days. This is very technical and must be valid proof of service. Also, be careful as some are court days and some are calendar days and do not forget court holidays and weekends in the calculation of the time period if court days.
Evidence Code: This Code is used in every family law case whether the parents are married or not. The submission and admission of evidence is extremely complex. As an example, one common objection to evidence is called hearsay. This is a statement made out of Court. Many times, testimony will not be allowed to what someone said outside of court but there are many exceptions. Also, the law promotes settlement of all cases. One evidence Code prohibits admission of evidence of settlement negotiations which are protected.
Doppelt and Forney, APLC can be called on their toll free number at 800-769-4748. An experienced family law California licensed attorney will meet with you at their office for no charge up to 30 minutes and this is also confidential. It is very important to have realistic expectations so you can make informed and intelligent decisions for your case. A free in-person or virtual consultation is a very good way to start the process. Doppelt and Forney, APLC is located in San Diego with free parking and elevators. They current are representing clients in all the family law court houses in Vista, Chula Vista, Vista and El Cajon. This is a law firm which provides full service full time in house paralegals and attorneys who work as a team. Collaboration with clients is the best procedure.