Divorce or dissolution of marriage is the legal process by which a marriage is ended in California and the parties are restored to single status. A marriage may also end in legal separation or annulment. With legal separation, the parties divide their assets and no longer acquire property as a community, but neither party may remarry. With an annulment, it is as though the marriage never took place.
Alimony or Spousal Support: When a spouse initiates a divorce in California, he or she may be entitled to temporary support from the other spouse from the time the petition is filed to the entry of judgment. Permanent support may also be paid to one spouse or the other upon the entry of judgment. If there is a change of circumstances after the alimony or spousal support order is entered, whether it is temporary or permanent, it may be modified.
Child Support: Both parents have an obligation to support their children under California Law. The amount of child support paid by one parent to another is primarily determined by the timeshare each party has with the child or children and the income of each party. Under certain circumstances, the amount of child support payable from one party to another may be changed after the order is entered.
Child Custody and Visitation: This is the legal process for determining the party with whom the children will reside, and which parent(s) have the right to make medical and school-related decisions about the children. The parties will have the opportunity to come to an agreement on these issues at Family Court Services when they have an action pending for custody in San Diego.
Domestic Abuse or Domestic Violence: A person may obtain a Domestic Violence Restraining Order in Family Court in San Diego when he or she is the victim of physical, mental or emotional abuse by their intimate partner or spouse. Children of the relationship or children of either party may also be protected by a Domestic Violence Restraining Order.
Parentage: This is the legal process by which a parent acquires parental rights to a child. Such cases are filed when the parties are not married at the time the child is born. Either parent can initiate a parentage case. A parental relationship must be established before a person can be required to pay support. DNA testing may be ordered if one party or the other contests parentage.
Pre-marital and Post-marital Agreements: Pre-nups and post-nups are required if parties desire to opt out of the community property system in California. Before marriage, the parties can agree not to acquire community assets and how spousal support of a party will be determined if the parties divorce or separate. After the parties are married, they may decide to change the character of property from community property, which belongs to both parties, to the separate property of one of the parties. A post-nuptial agreement may be used to change the character of property.