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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Family & Children: Divorce & Paternity
   

Divorce & Paternity

Case Types



Summary Dissolution of Marriage

This action can be used by a married couple to end the marriage. This action is very limited and can only be used by a married couple which meets the following requirements:

  • The parties have been maried less than five (5) years as of the date the action is filed.
  • The parties have no children together born before or during the marriage, including by adoption; and the wife, to her knowledge, is not pregnant as of the date the action is filed.
  • Neither party has any interest/ownership in real estate.

Instructions on how to file a Summary Dissolution case.

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Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

This action can be filed by a married person to end a marital relationship. Along with restoring the parties to single status, the court will issue orders for custody and visitation of the minor children of the marriage, child support, spousal support, and confirm or divide community and separate property assets and debts. Instructions on how to file a Dissolution of Marriage case.

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Legal Separation

This action can be filed by a married person who wishes to maintain the marital status but separate and resolve all other issues of the marriage. The court will issue orders for custody and visitation of the minor children of the marriage, child support, spousal support, and confirm or award community and separate property assets and debts. If the other party (Respondent), responds to the paperwork and requests a dissolution of marriage, the court will grant the dissolution of marriage. Instructions on how to file a Legal Separation case.

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Nullity of Marriage

This action can be filed by a married person to restore the parties to the status of unmarried persons, as if they were never married. Certain conditions must be met before the court will consider the marriage as void or voidable. Regardless of how the case proceeds, the Petitioner, the person who initiates the case, will have the burden to prove to the court that one of the conditions for nullity has been met before the court will grant the nullity of marriage. The court can also issue orders regarding property and debt division, custody and support. Instructions on how to file a Nullity of Marriage.

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Domestic Partnership (Dissolution /Legal Separation / Nullity)

This action can be filed by an individual who is a member of a registered partnership or equivalent, validly formed in another jurisdiction outside of California, to terminate, separate, or annul the partnership. Instructions on how to file a Dissolution/Legal Separation/Nullity of Domestic Partnership.

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Establishing Parentage (Paternity)

This action is filed by an unmarried mother or by an unmarried father who have minor children together. Through this action, the court will determine paternity (or non-paternity if the father is found not to be the biological father of the minor children), and make custody and visitation as well as child support orders. Instructions on how to file a Paternity case.

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Child Support

Before parents can address the issue of child support, there must be an underlying action. If the parents are married, either the mother or the father must first file an action requesting a dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or nullity. If the parents are unmarried, either the mother or the father must file an action to establish the parental relationship. There is no legal obligation to pay child support from one parent to the other until there is a court order. A court order is obtained by requesting a hearing. Instructions on how to file an Request for Order.

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Custody & Visitation

Before parents can address the issues of custody and visitation of their minor child(ren), there must be an underlying action. If the parents are married, either the mother or the father must first file an action requesting a dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or nullity. If the parents are unmarried, either the mother or the father must file an action to establish the parental relationship. For more information on custody and visitation, see Family Court Services. Instructions on how to file an Request for Order.

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Spousal Support

Once an underlying action for dissolution or legal separation of marriage or domestic partnership has been filed, the court can address the issue of spousal support in the underlying action. There is no legal obligation to pay spousal support by one party tothe other until there is a court order. In limited situations, the court can order spousal support in a nullity action. A court order is obtained by requesting a hearing. Instructions on how to file an Request for Order.



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