Law:Division 2. General Provisions (California)

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Contents

Part 1. Jurisdiction

Ca Codes (fam:200) Family.code Section 200



200. The superior court has jurisdiction in proceedings under this code.


Part 2. General Procedural Provisions

Ca Codes (fam:210-217) Family.code Section 210-217



210. Except to the extent that any other statute or rules adopted by the Judicial Council provide applicable rules, the rules of practice and procedure applicable to civil actions generally, including the provisions of Title 3a (commencing with Section 391) of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, apply to, and constitute the rules of practice and procedure in, proceedings under this code.


211. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Judicial Council may provide by rule for the practice and procedure in proceedings under this code.

212. A petition, response, application, opposition, or other pleading filed with the court under this code shall be verified.


213. (a) In a hearing on an order to show cause, or on a modification thereof, or in a hearing on a motion, other than for contempt, the responding party may seek affirmative relief alternative to that requested by the moving party, on the same issues raised by the moving party, by filing a responsive declaration within the time set by statute or rules of court. (b) This section applies in any of the following proceedings: (1) A proceeding for dissolution of marriage, for nullity of marriage, or for legal separation of the parties. (2) A proceeding relating to a protective order described in Section 6218. (3) Any other proceeding in which there is at issue the visitation, custody, or support of a child.


214. Except as otherwise provided in this code or by court rule, the court may, when it considers it necessary in the interests of justice and the persons involved, direct the trial of any issue of fact joined in a proceeding under this code to be private, and may exclude all persons except the officers of the court, the parties, their witnesses, and counsel.


215. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), after entry of a judgment of dissolution of marriage, nullity of marriage, legal separation of the parties, or paternity, or after a permanent order in any other proceeding in which there was at issue the visitation, custody, or support of a child, no modification of the judgment or order, and no subsequent order in the proceedings, is valid unless any prior notice otherwise required to be given to a party to the proceeding is served, in the same manner as the notice is otherwise permitted by law to be served, upon the party. For the purposes of this section, service upon the attorney of record is not sufficient. (b) A postjudgment motion to modify a custody, visitation, or child support order may be served on the other party or parties by first-class mail or airmail, postage prepaid, to the persons to be served. For any party served by mail, the proof of service must include an address verification.


216. (a) In the absence of a stipulation by the parties to the contrary, there shall be no ex parte communication between the attorneys for any party to an action and any court-appointed or court-connected evaluator or mediator, or between a court-appointed or court-connected evaluator or mediator and the court, in any proceedings under this code, except with regard to the scheduling of appointments. (b) There shall be no ex parte communications between counsel appointed by the court pursuant to Section 3150 and any court-appointed or court-connected evaluator or mediator, except where it is expressly authorized by the court or undertaken pursuant to paragraph (5) of subdivision (c) of Section 3151. (c) Subdivisions (a) and (b) shall not apply in the following situations: (1) To allow a mediator or evaluator to address a case involving allegations of domestic violence as set forth in Sections 3113, 3181, and 3192. (2) To allow a mediator or evaluator to address a case involving allegations of domestic violence as set forth in Rule 5.215 of the California Rules of Court. (3) If the mediator or evaluator determines that ex parte communication is needed to inform the court of his or her belief that a restraining order is necessary to prevent an imminent risk to the physical safety of the child or the party. (d) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the responsibilities a mediator or evaluator may have as a mandated reporter pursuant to Section 11165.9 of the Penal Code or the responsibilities a mediator or evaluator may have to warn under Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California (1976) 17 Cal.3d 425, Hedlund v. Superior Court (1983) 34 Cal.3d 695, and Section 43.92 of the Civil Code. (e) The Judicial Council shall, by July 1, 2006, adopt a rule of court to implement this section.


217. (a) At a hearing on any order to show cause or notice of motion brought pursuant to this code, absent a stipulation of the parties or a finding of good cause pursuant to subdivision (b), the court shall receive any live, competent testimony that is relevant and within the scope of the hearing and the court may ask questions of the parties. (b) In appropriate cases, a court may make a finding of good cause to refuse to receive live testimony and shall state its reasons for the finding on the record or in writing. The Judicial Council shall, by January 1, 2012, adopt a statewide rule of court regarding the factors a court shall consider in making a finding of good cause. (c) A party seeking to present live testimony from witnesses other than the parties shall, prior to the hearing, file and serve a witness list with a brief description of the anticipated testimony. If the witness list is not served prior to the hearing, the court may, on request, grant a brief continuance and may make appropriate temporary orders pending the continued hearing.


Part 3. Temporary Restraining Order In Summons

Ca Codes (fam:231-235) Family.code Section 231-235



231. This part applies to a temporary restraining order in a summons issued under any of the following provisions: (a) Section 2040 (proceeding for dissolution of marriage, for nullity of marriage, or for legal separation of the parties). (b) Section 7700 (proceeding under Uniform Parentage Act).


232. The summons shall state on its face that the order is enforceable in any place in this state by any law enforcement agency that has received mailed notice of the order or has otherwise received a copy of the order and any officer who has been shown a copy of the order.


233. (a) Upon filing the petition and issuance of the summons and upon personal service of the petition and summons on the respondent or upon waiver and acceptance of service by the respondent, the temporary restraining order under this part shall be in effect against the parties until the final judgment is entered or the petition is dismissed, or until further order of the court. (b) The temporary restraining order is enforceable in any place in this state, but is not enforceable by a law enforcement agency of a political subdivision unless that law enforcement agency has received mailed notice of the order or has otherwise received a copy of the order or the officer enforcing the order has been shown a copy of the order. (c) A willful and knowing violation of the order included in the summons by removing a child from the state without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court is punishable as provided in Section 278.5 of the Penal Code. A willful and knowing violation of any of the other orders included in the summons is punishable as provided in Section 273.6 of the Penal Code.


234. The automatic granting of the ex parte temporary restraining order under this part is not a court determination or competent evidence in any proceeding of any prior history of the conduct so proscribed occurring between the parties.

235. Nothing in this part precludes either party from applying to the court for modification or revocation of the temporary restraining order provided for in this part or for further temporary orders or an expanded temporary ex parte order.


Part 4. Ex Parte Temporary Restraining Orders

Ca Codes (fam:240-246) Family.code Section 240-246



240. This part applies where a temporary restraining order, including a protective order as defined in Section 6218, is issued under any of the following provisions: (a) Article 2 (commencing with Section 2045) of Chapter 4 of Part 1 of Division 6 (dissolution of marriage, nullity of marriage, or legal separation of the parties). (b) Article 3 (commencing with Section 4620) of Chapter 3 of Part 5 of Division 9 (deposit of assets to secure future child support payments). (c) Article 1 (commencing with Section 6320) of Chapter 2 of Part 4 of Division 10 (Domestic Violence Prevention Act), other than an order under Section 6322.5. (d) Article 2 (commencing with Section 7710) of Chapter 6 of Part 3 of Division 12 (Uniform Parentage Act).


241. Except as provided in Section 6300, an order described in Section 240 may not be granted without notice to the respondent unless it appears from facts shown by the affidavit in support of the application for the order, or in the application for the order, that great or irreparable injury would result to the applicant before the matter can be heard on notice.


241. Except as provided in Section 6300, an order described in Section 240 may not be granted without notice to the respondent unless it appears from facts shown by the declaration in support of the petition for the order, or in the petition for the order, that great or irreparable injury would result to the petitioner before the matter can be heard on notice.


242. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), if an order described in Section 240 is issued, the matter shall be made returnable on an order requiring cause to be shown why a permanent order should not be granted, on the earliest day that the business of the court will permit, but not later than 20 days or, if good cause appears to the court, 25 days from the date of the order. (b) If a hearing is not held within the time provided in subdivision (a), the court may nonetheless hear the matter, but the order is unenforceable unless reissued under Section 245.


242. (a) Within 21 days, or, if good cause appears to the court, 25 days from the date that a temporary order is granted or denied, a hearing shall be held on the petition. If no request for temporary orders is made, the hearing shall be held within 21 days, or, if good cause appears to the court, 25 days from the date that the petition is filed. (b) If a hearing is not held within the time provided in subdivision (a), the court may nonetheless hear the matter, but the order is unenforceable unless reissued under Section 245.


243. (a) When the matter first comes up for hearing, the applicant must be ready to proceed. (b) If an order described in Section 240 has been issued without notice pending the hearing, the applicant must have served on the respondent, at least five days before the hearing, a copy of each of the following: (1) The order to show cause. (2) The application and the affidavits and points and authorities in support of the application. (3) Any other supporting papers filed with the court. (c) If an order described in Section 240 has been issued with notice pending the hearing, the applicant must have served on the respondent the documents described in subdivision (b) at least 15 days before the hearing. (d) If the applicant fails to comply with subdivision (a) and either subdivision (b) or (c), the court shall dissolve the order. (e) If service is made under subdivision (b), the respondent is entitled, as of course, to one continuance for a reasonable period, to respond to the application for the order. (f) On motion of the applicant or on its own motion, the court may shorten the time provided in this section for service on the respondent. (g) The respondent may, in response to the order to show cause, present affidavits relating to the granting of the order, and if the affidavits are served on the applicant at least two days before the hearing, the applicant is not entitled to a continuance on account of the affidavits.


243. (a) When the matter first comes up for hearing, the petitioner must be ready to proceed. (b) If a petition under this part has been filed, the respondent shall be personally served with a copy of the petition, the temporary order, if any, and the notice of hearing on the petition. Service shall be made at least five days before the hearing. (c) If the petitioner fails to comply with subdivision (a) or subdivision (b), the court shall dissolve the order. (d) If service is made under subdivision (b), the respondent may file a response that explains or denies the allegations in the petition. The respondent is entitled, as a matter of course, to one continuance for a reasonable period, to respond to the petition for orders. (e) On motion of the petitioner or on its own motion, the court may shorten the time provided in this section for service on the respondent. (f) If the response is served on the petitioner at least two days before the hearing, the petitioner is not entitled to a continuance on account of the response.


244. (a) On the day upon which the order is made returnable, the hearing shall take precedence over all other matters on the calendar of the day, except older matters of the same character, and matters to which special precedence may be given by law. (b) When the cause is at issue it shall be set for trial at the earliest possible date and shall take precedence over all other cases, except older matters of the same character, and matters to which special precedence may be given by law.


244. (a) On the day of the hearing, the hearing on the petition shall take precedence over all other matters on the calendar that day, except older matters of the same character, and matters to which special precedence may be given by law. (b) The hearing on the petition shall be set for trial at the earliest possible date and shall take precedence over all other matters, except older matters of the same character, and matters to which special precedence may be given by law.


245. (a) The court may, upon the filing of an affidavit by the applicant that the respondent could not be served within the time required by statute, reissue an order previously issued and dissolved by the court for failure to serve the respondent. (b) The reissued order shall state on its face the date of expiration of the order. (c) No fee shall be charged for the reissuance of the order unless the order had been dissolved three times previously.


245. (a) The court may, upon the filing of a declaration by the petitioner that the respondent could not be served within the time required by statute, reissue an order previously issued and dissolved by the court for failure to serve the respondent. The reissued order shall remain in effect until the date set for hearing. (b) The reissued order shall state on its face the date of expiration of the order. (c) No fee shall be charged for the reissuance of the order unless the order had been dissolved three times previously.


246. An ex parte temporary restraining order described in Section 240 shall be issued or denied on the same day that the application is submitted to the court, unless the application is filed too late in the day to permit effective review, in which case the order shall be issued or denied on the next day of judicial business in sufficient time for the order to be filed that day with the clerk of the court.


246. A request for a temporary restraining order described in Section 240, issued without notice, shall be granted or denied on the same day that the petition is submitted to the court, unless the petition is filed too late in the day to permit effective review, in which case the order shall be granted or denied on the next day of judicial business in sufficient time for the order to be filed that day with the clerk of the court.


Part 5. Attorney's Fees And Costs

Ca Codes (fam:270-274) Family.code Section 270-274



270. If a court orders a party to pay attorney's fees or costs under this code, the court shall first determine that the party has or is reasonably likely to have the ability to pay.


271. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, the court may base an award of attorney's fees and costs on the extent to which the conduct of each party or attorney furthers or frustrates the policy of the law to promote settlement of litigation and, where possible, to reduce the cost of litigation by encouraging cooperation between the parties and attorneys. An award of attorney's fees and costs pursuant to this section is in the nature of a sanction. In making an award pursuant to this section, the court shall take into consideration all evidence concerning the parties' incomes, assets, and liabilities. The court shall not impose a sanction pursuant to this section that imposes an unreasonable financial burden on the party against whom the sanction is imposed. In order to obtain an award under this section, the party requesting an award of attorney's fees and costs is not required to demonstrate any financial need for the award. (b) An award of attorney's fees and costs as a sanction pursuant to this section shall be imposed only after notice to the party against whom the sanction is proposed to be imposed and opportunity for that party to be heard. (c) An award of attorney's fees and costs as a sanction pursuant to this section is payable only from the property or income of the party against whom the sanction is imposed, except that the award may be against the sanctioned party's share of the community property.


272. (a) Where the court orders one of the parties to pay attorney' s fees and costs for the benefit of the other party, the fees and costs may, in the discretion of the court, be made payable in whole or in part to the attorney entitled thereto. (b) Subject to subdivision (c), the order providing for payment of the attorney's fees and costs may be enforced directly by the attorney in the attorney's own name or by the party in whose behalf the order was made. (c) If the attorney has ceased to be the attorney for the party in whose behalf the order was made, the attorney may enforce the order only if it appears of record that the attorney has given to the former client or successor counsel 10 days' written notice of the application for enforcement of the order. During the 10-day period, the client may file in the proceeding a motion directed to the former attorney for partial or total reallocation of fees and costs to cover the services and cost of successor counsel. On the filing of the motion, the enforcement of the order by the former attorney shall be stayed until the court has resolved the motion.


273. Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, the court shall not award attorney's fees against any governmental agency involved in a family law matter or child support proceeding except when sanctions are appropriate pursuant to Section 128.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure or Section 271 of this code.


274. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if the injured spouse is entitled to a remedy authorized pursuant to Section 4324, the injured spouse shall be entitled to an award of reasonable attorney's fees and costs as a sanction pursuant to this section. (b) An award of attorney's fees and costs as a sanction pursuant to this section shall be imposed only after notice to the party against whom the sanction is proposed to be imposed and opportunity for that party to be heard. (c) An award of attorney's fees and costs as a sanction pursuant to this section is payable only from the property or income of the party against whom the sanction is imposed, except that the award may be against the sanctioned party's share of the community property. In order to obtain an award under this section, the party requesting an award of attorney's fees and costs is not required to demonstrate any financial need for the award.


Part 6. Enforcement Of Judgments And Orders

Ca Codes (fam:290-292) Family.code Section 290-292



290. A judgment or order made or entered pursuant to this code may be enforced by the court by execution, the appointment of a receiver, or contempt, or by any other order as the court in its discretion determines from time to time to be necessary.


291. (a) A money judgment or judgment for possession or sale of property that is made or entered under this code, including a judgment for child, family, or spousal support, is enforceable until paid in full or otherwise satisfied. (b) A judgment described in this section is exempt from any requirement that a judgment be renewed. Failure to renew a judgment described in this section has no effect on the enforceability of the judgment. (c) A judgment described in this section may be renewed pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 683.110) of Chapter 3 of Division 1 of Title 9 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure. An application for renewal of a judgment described in this section, whether or not payable in installments, may be filed: (1) If the judgment has not previously been renewed as to past due amounts, at any time. (2) If the judgment has previously been renewed, the amount of the judgment as previously renewed and any past due amount that became due and payable after the previous renewal may be renewed at any time after a period of at least five years has elapsed from the time the judgment was previously renewed. (d) In an action to enforce a judgment for child, family, or spousal support, the defendant may raise, and the court may consider, the defense of laches only with respect to any portion of the judgment that is owed to the state. (e) Nothing in this section supersedes the law governing enforcement of a judgment after the death of the judgment creditor or judgment debtor. (f) On or before January 1, 2008, the Judicial Council shall develop self-help materials that include: (1) a description of the remedies available for enforcement of a judgment under this code, and (2) practical advice on how to avoid disputes relating to the enforcement of a support obligation. The self-help materials shall be made available to the public through the Judicial Council self-help Internet Web site. (g) As used in this section, "judgment" includes an order.


292. (a) The Judicial Council shall modify the title of its existing form, "Order to Show Cause and Declaration for Contempt (Family Law)," to "Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Contempt (Family Law)." (b) The Judicial Council shall prescribe a form entitled "Affidavit of Facts Constituting Contempt" that a party seeking to enforce a judgment or order made or entered pursuant to this code by contempt may use as an attachment to the Judicial Council form entitled "Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Contempt (Family Law)." The form shall provide in the simplest language possible: (1) The basic information needed to sustain a cause of action for contempt, including, but not limited to, the elements of a cause of action for contempt. (2) Instructions on how to prepare and submit the Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Contempt (Family Law) and the Affidavit of Facts Constituting Contempt. (3) Lines for the date and a signature made under penalty of perjury. (c) Section 1211.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall apply to the Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Contempt (Family Law) and the Affidavit of Facts Constituting Contempt.


Part 7. Tribal Marriages And Divorces

Ca Codes (fam:295) Family.code Section 295



295. (a) For the purpose of application of the laws of succession set forth in the Probate Code to a decedent, and for the purpose of determining the validity of a marriage under the laws of this state, an alliance entered into before 1958, which, by custom of the Indian tribe, band, or group of which the parties to the alliance, or either of them, are members, is commonly recognized in the tribe, band, or group as marriage, is deemed a valid marriage under the laws of this state. (b) In the case of these marriages and for the purposes described in subdivision (a), a separation, which, by custom of the Indian tribe, band, or group of which the separating parties, or either of them, are members, is commonly recognized in the tribe, band, or group as a dissolution of marriage, is deemed a valid divorce under the laws of this state.


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