Superior Court of California - County of Shasta








































Family Law

General Information

"Family" law is the general term used to refer to the various actions regarding marital relationships and relationships between parents and children, as well as violence between family, friends, or acquaintances.

Please note, the clerks are prohibited by law from giving legal advice. For individual assistance, contact the Family Law Facilitator or the Self Help Center.

Family law documents and civil restraining orders are filed in Room 319, which is the Civil Division of the Superior Court. Filing Fees change occasionally; therefore, you will need to access the current fees for filing your family-law documents. If you feel that you are eligible for a fee waiver, you may pick up an application in the Civil Division, Room 319, 1500 Court Street, Redding, or access the application from the Judicial Council website. If you have a general question, you may call (530) 245-6789 or e-mail the Family Law Clerk at famlaw@shastacourts.com.

The Civil Division is open Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 2:00pm, excluding holidays.

Forms are available at the Judicial Council website or in Room 319 of the Shasta County Superior Court.

The Self Help Center located on the First Floor of the Courthouse, Room 115, provides family law information, referral, and assistance to the public. The Self Help Center phone number is (530) 245-6900.

The Family Law Facilitator is located on the First Floor of the Courthouse, Room 115. The Family Law Facilitator phone number is (530) 245-6900.

Click here to view the Family Law Facilitator/Self-Help Center's drop-in hours and class schedule.

 

Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)

This action can be filed by a married person to end the marital relationship between a husband and wife. 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.

Once an action is filed by the petitioner, the other party, the respondent, must be personally served with specific paperwork. If the respondent fails to file the necessary responding paperwork within thirty (30) days of service, the petitioner may request an entry of default. Once the default is entered, the petitioner can complete the divorce proceeding without the participation of the respondent.

If the respondent files the necessary responding paperwork, the case will then proceed as either a contested matter or an uncontested matter. The action is considered contested if the parties are unable to agree on some or all issues, and the unresolved issues must be resolved by the Court. The action is considered uncontested if the parties are able to cooperate and agree on all issues outside of Court, and the matter can proceed to its conclusion by submitting the necessary signed paperwork for the Court's signature.

Click here for more information on dissolution of marriage.

The State Bar of California has created the pamphlet "Options for Divorce in California," providing important information regarding the alternative options for divorce. The pamphlet may be viewed and printed from this website by using Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you may download the application for free from Adobe's Web Site.

Click here to view the "Options for Divorce in California" pamphlet.

The Family Law Facilitator/Self Help Center offers a class that will guide you step by step in preparing your initial paperwork. Click here to view the Family Law Facilitator/Self-Help Center's drop-in hours and class schedule.

 

Legal Separation

This action can be filed by a married person who wishes to maintain the marital status but separate and resolve all of 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, the respondent, responds to the paperwork and requests a dissolution of marriage, the Court will grant the dissolution of marriage.

Once an action is filed by a petitioner, the respondent must be personally served with specific paperwork. If the respondent fails to file the necessary responding paperwork within thirty (30) days of service, the petitioner may request an entry of default. Once the default is entered, the petitioner can complete the legal separation proceeding without the participation of the respondent.

If the respondent files the necessary responding paperwork, the case will then proceed as either a contested matter or an uncontested matter. The action is considered contested if the parties are unable to agree on some or all issues, and the unresolved issues must be resolved by the Court. The action is considered uncontested if the parties are able to cooperate and agree on all issues outside of Court, and the matter can proceed to its conclusion by submitting the necessary signed paperwork for the Court's signature.

Click here for more information on legal separation.

Click here to view the Family Law Facilitator/Self-Help Center's drop-in hours and class schedule.

 

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 void. Regardless of how the case proceeds, the petitioner, the person who initiated 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.

Click here for more information on nullity of marriage.

Click here to view the Family Law Facilitator/Self-Help Center's drop-in hours and class schedule.

 

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 who meet the following requirements:

    1.The parties have been married less than five (5) years as of the date the action is filed.
    2.There are 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.
    3.Neither party has any interest/ownership in real estate.
    4.Neither party is seeking spousal support.
    5.The community and/or separate property assets total less than $38,000.
    6.The community or separate debt is less than $6,000 (excluding vehicles).
    7.The parties waive their rights to appeal or move for a new trial.

The married couple jointly signs the necessary paperwork and the originals are filed with the Court. After waiting six (6) months, either party can file the document requesting that the marriage end.

Click here for more information on summary dissolution of marriage.

Click here to view the Family Law Facilitator/Self-Help Center's drop-in hours and class schedule.

 

Establishing Parentage (Paternity)

When a child is conceived by, or born to, unmarried parents, either the unmarried mother or the unmarried father may file an action to establish paternity. 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.

Once an action is filed by a petitioner, the other party, the respondent, must be personally served with specific paperwork. If the respondent fails to file the necessary responding paperwork within thirty (30) days of service, the petitioner may request the entry of default. Once the default is entered, the petitioner can complete the paternity proceeding without the participation of the respondent.

If the respondent files the necessary responding paperwork, the case will then proceed as either a contested matter or an uncontested matter. The action is considered contested if the parties are unable to agree on some or all issues, and the unresolved issues must be resolved by the Court. The action is considered uncontested if the parties are able to cooperate and agree on all issues outside of Court, and the matter can proceed to its conclusion by submitting the necessary signed paperwork for the Court's signature.

Click here for more information on paternity.

Click here to view the Family Law Facilitator/Self-Help Center's drop-in hours and class schedule.

For information on establishing parentage by an administrative process, click here to go to the California Department of Child Support Services Paternity Opportunity Program website.

 

Petition For Custody and Support of Minor Children

This action may be filed by married or unmarried parents to obtain custody and support orders without filing a dissolution of marriage/legal separation or nullity action if the parents of the minor children are married or without filing an action to establish a parental relationship if the parents of the minor children are unmarried. This action is limited and can only be used in certain situations by a married or unmarried parent. This action does not deal with property or marital status if the parents are married or establish a parental relationship if the parents are unmarried. To address these other issues, the married parents would need to file an action requesting a dissolution of marriage/legal separation or nullity action. Unmarried parents need to file an action to establish the parental relationship.

Click here for more information on custody and support of minor children.

 

Custody and Visitation

Before parents can address the issues of custody and visitation of their minor children, 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, nullity, or file a petition for custody and support of minor children's action. If the parents are unmarried, either the mother or the father must file an action to establish the parental relationship or file a petition for custody and support of minor children.

Once an underlying action has been filed, the Court can address the issues of custody and visitation. Further discussion of custody and visitation can be located by referring to the appropriate underlying action.

Click here for more information on custody and visitation.

 

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, nullity, or file a petition for custody and support of minor children. If the parents are unmarried, either the mother or the father must file an action to establish the parental relationship or file a petition for custody and support of minor children. There is no legal obligation to pay child support until a court order is in place. A court order is obtained by requesting a hearing.

Once an underlying action has been filed, the Court can address the issue of child support in the underlying action. Further discussion of child support can be located by referring to the appropriate underlying action.

Child support issues may be raised through an action initiated by the California Department of Child Support Services.

Click here for more information on child support.

The office of the Family Law Facilitator assists parties with support issues. The staff consists of an attorney and staff who will meet with parties individually to attempt to resolve their support issues. The staff does not give legal advice nor does it represent a particular party in an action. There is no confidentiality nor attorney-client relationship created or intended between the office and a party.

The Family Law Facilitator is located on the First Floor of the Courthouse, Room 115. The telephone phone number is (530) 245-6900.

Click here to view the Family Law Facilitator/Self-Help Center's drop-in hours and class schedule.

 

Spousal Support

Once an underlying action for dissolution of marriage or legal separation 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 until a court order is in place.

The Family Law Facilitator/Self Help Center offers a step-by-step class to assist you in filing a motion. Click here to view the Family Law Facilitator/Self-Help Center's drop-in hours and class schedule.

In limited situations, the Court can order spousal support in a nullity action. A Court order is obtained by filing a motion. Further discussion of spousal support can be located by referring to the appropriate underlying action.

Click here for more information on spousal support.

 

Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

A restraining order is a Court order issued to prevent the recurrence of acts of abuse by a batterer. Under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, abuse is defined as any of the following:

    1.Intentionally or recklessly causing or attempting to cause bodily injury.
    2.Sexual assault.
    3.Placing a person in reasonable apprehension of imminent serious bodily injury to that person or to another.
    4.Engaging in any behavior that has been or could be enjoined such as molesting, attacking, striking, stalking, threatening, battering, harassing, telephoning, destroying personal property, contacting the other by mail, or otherwise disturbing the peace of the other party.

You can ask for a restraining order if a person has abused you, and you have a close relationship with that person. Specifically, a "close relationship" exists if you are married to, divorced or separated from, dating or used to date, living with or used to live with your abuser. Similarly, a "close relationship" exists if you are related to your abuser (parent, child, brother, sister, grandmother, grandfather, in-law). You have to be more intimately involved than just roommates.

A victim who is a target of abuse but does not have the necessary relationship to the batterer may file a civil harassment restraining order, discussed below.

The restraining order can include the following: restraints on personal conduct by the batterer; orders for the batterer to stay-away from the victim's home/work and/or children's school; orders for the batterer to be removed from the residence; child custody, visitation, and support orders; and other miscellaneous orders.

Click here for more information on restraining orders.

 

Civil Harassment

A person who has suffered harassment may seek a civil harassment protective order. Harassment is defined as follows:

    1.Unlawful violence.
    2.A credible threat of violence or
    3.A knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person and that serves no legitimate purpose.

Pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure 527.6(b), the course of conduct must be such as would cause a reasonable person to suffer substantial emotional distress and must actually cause substantial emotional distress to the victim.

The restraining order can include restraints on personal conduct by the batterer, order the batterer to stay away from the victim's home/work and/or children's school, and other miscellaneous orders. There is no requirement that there be a relationship between the victim and a batterer in order to obtain the protective order. However, there must be recent acts of harassment.

Click here for more information on civil harassment.

 
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Copyright 2007 Superior Court of California - County of Shasta
1500 Court Street  Redding, CA 96001
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