Understanding the Family Law Court in California

We discussed uncontested divorces in our blog post last week. That post, along with others, might have our California readers wondering how the family court process works in the state. Understanding the process and knowing what some of the basic terms mean might help you feel less stress as you go through the process.

One point you should realize is that all family court matters are under the jurisdiction of the Superior Court. The court is over the case from the moment the appropriate papers are filed with the court. From then, you might hear various terms for hearings, such as long cause hearings, law and motion hearings and in some cases, ex parte hearings. We can help you to understand what will happen in each of these types of hearings if your case requires them.

Long cause hearings are settlement conferences and trials. These generally take longer than law and motion hearings. Law and motion hearings are short hearings. These law and motion hearings usually don’t involve any witness testimony. Ex parte hearings are emergency hearings that can only be scheduled if there is a real emergency. Our experience can help you to learn which hearing is occurring and what will happen at the hearing.

For people who are going through issues involving child custody or similar matters, mediation is usually used to help the parents come to an agreement. These can be done through the Family Court Services and usually don’t require payment from the parents. Private mediation is also possible for people who desire that service, but the cost will fall on the parents.

Because there are so many cases in the family court system, it is vital for people who are filing cases with the court have everything necessary to file. It is also necessary for you to ensure you are prepared for hearings and follow the hearings. We can help you to prepare for these hearings and go through them appropriately.

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