This is also referred to as "divorce." A dissolution action may also include
requests for temporary and permanent child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support and/or property, as well as
requests for restraining orders in appropriate cases.
is identical in all respects to a divorce, except the parties' marriage is not dissolved, and they remain legally married
to each other although legally separated. All other issues such as child custody, child and spousal support, and property
rights, are determined precisely the same as a divorce case. A legal separtion is usually desired by persons who have strong
religious or philosophical beliefs against a divorce but nevertheless want to be "legally separated."
An annulment means that a court has issued a judgment declaring that the marriage
has never occurred. Annulments are very rare and are very difficult to prove, particularly if children were born to the parties
while they were "married." The grounds for an annulment include bigamy, certain kinds of fraud, age [one or both
of the parties were not old enough under the law to be married], and a few others grounds as well.
These actions concern parties who have a child together but were never married to one
another. A paternity action is an action to have a child's parentage legally determined and a judgment of that determination
entered. The court will also make custody and visitation orders, and orders that provide for the support of the children.
Domestic violence proceedings under the California Domestic
Violence Prevention Act are commenced for the protection of the victim (they do not have to be married, but must have had,
or have, a dating relationship or be the parent of a child in common) of abuse by another party. When appropriate the Court
may issue restraining orders, stay away orders and, sometimes, custody, visitation and child support orders.
An appeal is taken to a Court of Appeal by a request from a party who disagrees with the judgment or order of the
trial court to review the order or judgment from which the appeal was taken.
Child custody and visitation proceedings can occur either before or after a final judgment
is made in a case. These orders are always subject to modification upon a showing that significant circumstances have changed
since the previous court order was made.
MOVE AWAY CASES
A move-away case
is where the parent having primary custody of the children wants to leave the area with the parties' minor children. Presently,
the courts will allow this to happen unless there are some very good reasons to prevent it. There have been some recent changes
in the law in move-away cases, and the law is continuing to evolve in that area.
Both parents of a minor child are required to support their children, and the Court will order both parents of a minor
child to provide such support. Many factors are taken into account. The income of both parents, the amount of time the child
or children spend with both parents, and any special needs of a child, among other things, must be considered by the Court
when making a child support order. Such support orders are modifiable any time there has been any significant change in any
of the factors the Court considered when making the previous support order. These include, among other things, the time each
child spends with each parent, and any increases or decreases in either parent's income.
The right to spousal support (this is sometimes called "alimony") is quite different
than the right to child support. Only persons who are married to each other or are registered domestic partners may ask the
Court to require the other spouse or partner to pay spousal support. When making or modifying a spousal or partner
support order the court has much broader discretion than it does when making or modifying a child support order. Ordinarily,
the factors the Court must consider when making or modifying a spousal or partner support order are the length of the marriage,
the parties' ages, the standard of living the parties enjoyed during the marriage, the need of the spouse or partner seeking
support, the supporting party's ability to pay spousal or partner support, the parties' employment, the parties' health, and
many other factors.