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In observance of the Memorial Day statewide holiday, the San Diego Superior Court will
close all courtrooms and business offices on Monday, May 30, 2016.
 
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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. Whatif 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 toSelf-Help Servicesto see the types of services available from the Family Law Facilitator's Office. Detailed information can also be located on the California Courts website under the "Self-Help" section at http://www.courts.ca.gov/selfhelp.

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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

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

A copy of the court minutes will show the name of the court reporter assigned to the hearing. Provide 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.

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4. Whatif 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 California Courts website to locate a state-certified interpreter/translator for your language in San Diego County.


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.


6. Can I view my file online?

No, files cannot currently be viewed online.


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.

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

If you are trying to enforce the order, you may register an out-of-state order or judgment in California. You may obtain the forms from the Family Court Business Office.

If you wish to modify an out-of-state order or judgment, the state where you obtained your orders may have continuing jurisdiction over your case. 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.


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

You can obtain 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.


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.

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11. Where can I file for adoption?

Adoptions are handled in the Juvenile Court.


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