SCSD HomeThe court will be closed on September 1st in observance of Labor Day
Court Seal, Superior Court of California, County of San Diego
 
Family & Children HomeFamily & Children Home  
Divorce & PaternityDivorce & Paternity  
Custody & VisitationCustody & Visitation  
Child SupportChild Support  
Domestic ViolenceDomestic Violence  
Restraining OrdersRestraining Orders  
Self Help ServicesSelf Help Services  
Frequently Asked QuestionsFrequently Asked Questions  
FormsForms  
CalendarCalendar  
LocationsLocations  
FeesFees  
Family Law RulesFamily Law Rules  
Legal InformationLegal Information  
AppealsAppeals  





Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Family & Children: Frequently Asked Questions: General Family & Children FAQ
   

General Family & Children Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Do I need an attorney?
  2. Who can serve my court documents?
  3. How do I obtain a copy of court transcripts?
  4. What if I need documents translated before they are filed in my case?
  5. How can I obtain a copy of my divorce/paternity judgment or child support/custody and visitation orders?
  6. Can I view my file online?
  7. If my case is in another county, why can't I file my paperwork in San Diego?
  8. If my case is in another state but I live in California now, how can I enforce/change it?
  9. How do I obtain a marriage license? Can I get married by a judge?
  10. Where can I file a guardianship matter?
  11. Where can I file for adoption?



1. Do I need an attorney?

If you choose to represent yourself, the self-help services staff at the Family Law Facilitator's Office can assist you with the preparation of forms and general legal information. However, they cannot represent you in court. Every situation is unique and if your case is complex, you may wish to consult a private attorney for legal representation.

Refer to Self-Help Services to see the types of services available from the Family Law Facilitator's Office.

 Back to Top

2. Who can serve my court documents?

You cannot "serve" court forms in your own case. The person who serves a copy of your papers to the other parent can be anyone over the age of 18 who is NOT involved in the case.

This includes a:

  • Friend
  • Relative (as long as they are not connected to or affected by the outcome of this court case)
  • County sheriff
  • Professional process server

NOTE: If you hire a process server, give him or her a photo of the other parent (if you have one) and a list of times and places when it will be easy to find that person. Look for a process server who is close to where the other party lives or works. Fees are often based on how far the server has to travel.

 Back to Top

3. How do I obtain a copy of court transcripts?

Your copy of the minute order will show the name of the court reporter assigned to the hearing. Present the name of the court reporter to the records or business office where your case is filed and ask for the court reporter's phone number. The court reporter will provide you with the cost and turnaround time for the transcript.

 Back to Top

4. What if I need documents translated before they are filed in my case?

You can hire a translator to do the work by locating one on your own, or you can refer to the Administrative Office of the Courts website to locate a state-certified interpreter/translator for your language in San Diego County.

 Back to Top

5. How can I obtain a copy of my divorce/paternity judgment or child support/custody and visitation orders?

You can either come in person or telephone the clerk at the court location where your case is filed for instructions on requesting a copy of your judgment and/or orders.

 Back to Top

6. Can I view my file online?

Our court does not currently have this service, but we are working on making files that are not confidential by law available online in the near future.

 Back to Top

7. If my case is in another county, why can't I file my paperwork in San Diego?

Currently, you must file your paperwork at the court location where your case was initiated. Each court location has jurisdiction over matters in the geographical area over which it has authority to decide cases. The courts in California are working together to make it possible in the future to file paperwork in a jurisdiction other than where the case was originated.

 Back to Top

8. If my case is in another state but I live in California now, how can I enforce/change it?

If you are trying to enforce the order, you may register an out-of-state order/decree in California. You can get the forms from the Family Court Business Office.

The state where you got your orders has continuing jurisdiction over your case. If you wish to modify your case, you must file in the original state, except in very specific circumstances. You should consult a private attorney or may request information or assistance at one of the Family Law Facilitator Offices in the Family Court nearest your residence.

 Back to Top

9. How do I obtain a marriage license? Can I get married by a judge?

You can get a marriage license at the County Recorder's office.

Yes, you can have your marriage ceremony performed by a judge.  Please arrange to get your marriage license from the County Recorder's office first before calling the court.  Then you can call San Diego Superior Court Judicial Services at (619) 450-5555 for assistance.

 Back to Top

10. Where can I file a guardianship matter?

There are two types of guardianships-Probate Court Guardianship and Juvenile Court Guardianship. Guardianships are ordered from the Probate Court if neither Juvenile Court nor Family Court has been involved with the child. If the child is a dependent or a ward of the court, Juvenile Court may order a guardianship. If the Family Court has issued a custody order, the Family Court will consider any further orders. You can seek information about the right place to file from the self-help services staff in the Family Law Facilitator's Office.

 Back to Top

11. Where can I file for adoption?

Adoptions are handled in the Juvenile Court.

 Back to Top

HelpSite MapUse/Privacy Policy

2014 Court Information Technology
Superior Court of California, County of San Diego