Lawyers Answer Frequently Asked Questions About San Diego Family Law Issues
Family Law FAQs
If you are facing a complex family legal issue in San Diego, you probably have many questions about how these matters will affect your life and future. Going through a divorce is like riding an emotional roller coaster. The process could get even more chaotic and messy when you add issues like alimony, child custody, child support, and property division into the equation. Here are some common questions our clients ask us about family law matters.
Q. What do I need to file as part of a divorce proceeding?
The process of filing for Dissolution, Legal Separation, and Nullity Proceedings are similar. You will need a Summons, a Petition, and a Certificate of Counsel. If you have children, you will also need a Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement. You may also need legal guidance to fill out Declarations of Disclosures such as the Income and Expense Declaration, the Schedule of Assets and Debts, and a form for Property Declaration.
Q. What happens after you serve the other party with a petition?
The respondent will have 30 days to file a written response to your petition. If he or she does not respond, you may pursue a default judgment or you may complete the case by agreement. If your ex does file a response, you will have to enter into an agreement or you will have to go to trial.
Q. How long do divorce proceedings take in San Diego?
It is a common misconception that divorce proceedings only take six months. The amount of time it could take depends on your ability to negotiate the terms of your agreement with your ex. A negotiated settlement can allow for all of the final documents to be submitted to the Court in less than six months. If you disagree on important matters such as property division and child custody, the proceedings can take longer and a qualified family law attorney should evaluate your case.
Q. What determines child custody in San Diego?
When determining child custody, the court will try to decide the best interests of the children involved. There are many factors that will determine who gets custody of the children such as each parent's living situation, the relationship the parents have with the children, the stability of each household, the age of the children, and where they want to live. Mattis Law, A.P.C. specializes in child custody cases.
Q. Who decides how property is divided?
The division of property can be stressful for many divorcing couples. Some couples are able to come to an agreement on their own, but many need help from a mediator. When a couple is unable to come to an agreement through mediation, the matter will be decided in court.
Q. Are there actions I can take if I feel in danger of suffering harm?
There are many aspects of family law that have nothing to do with divorce and child custody. You can seek guidance from a family law attorney if you are in fear of suffering harm from your significant other. For example, a protective court order is a legal document that can help keep you and your children safe from harm or violence.
Q. What are the different types of protective orders?
There are many different types of restraining orders. If you are the victim of abuse and need help right now, you can seek an emergency protective order. If you are the victim of domestic violence, you can seek a domestic violence restraining order. A civil harassment restraining order can be used if your harasser is not a significant other and a criminal restraining order can protect you if you were the victim or witness to a crime.
For more information about family law matters and to schedule a free consultation call the San Diego family law attorneys at Mattis Law, A.P.C. at (858) 328-4400.