Family Law

Family Law Case Filings

The following case types are considered family law:

  • Dissolution of Marriage (Divorce)
  • Dissolution of Domestic Partnership
  • Legal Separation
  • Nullity (annulment of marriage or domestic partnership)
  • Custody and Visitation
  • Department of Child Support Services, Child Support Actions
  • Domestic Violence - Restraining Orders (RO)
  • Establish Parental Relationship (Paternity), Petitions for Custody and Support
  • Adoption

Location and Time

Most Family law matters are heard at the Monterey Courthouse in Departments 16 and 17. Child Support is heard at the Marina Courthouse (Department 21).

  • Child Support actions are set on Tuesdays in Department 21 at the Marina Courthouse.
  • Domestic Violence Restraining Orders are set on Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. in Department 16 at the Monterey Courthouse.
  • Adoptions are set on Mondays at 8:30 a.m. in Department 16 at the Monterey Courthouse.
  • Family Law and Motion hearings are set on the following days depending on the case number
    • Cases ending in a 9 or 0 are heard on Thursdays at 1:30 in Department 16
    • Cases ending in an even number (other than 0) are heard on Fridays in Department 16
    • Cases ending in an odd number are heard on Thursdays in Department 17

Fees

Most filings require a filing fee. Filing fees must be paid at the time of filing You may ask the court to waive the filing fee if your household income falls below certain guidelines. To apply for a Fee Waiver you must complete and file a Fee Waiver Form , for more information see FW-001-Info . A current schedule of fees can be viewed at the following link: Fee Schedule

Forms

Family Law forms are accessible as follows

  • Monterey County Superior Court website for Local Court Forms.
  • Any court location, for purchase

What you can do to prepare for your court hearing:

  • Read all of your court papers. Make sure you understand what each form asks and what the other party has written.
  • There will be many cases set and heard during each court session and your time to speak to the judicial officer may be limited. If you want to provide information or evidence, consider filing declarations or exhibits ahead of your hearing with the information or evidence you want the judge to consider.
  • Make an outline listing what you want and why. Be ready to quickly explain why the judge should approve each item you are asking for, or why the judge should not approve something the other party is requesting and what you want the judge to order instead.
  • Make organized, short notes to summarize your point of view.
  • Make a list of short responses to each point the other party made in their papers.
  • Arrive early for your hearing.
  • If you get nervous in court, look at your notes: check your list for each request or response you want the judge to hear.
  • If you are asking for court orders, make sure that the judge makes an order on each request on your list. If a request you made is not mentioned as the judge makes orders, tell the judge.
  • Speak when it is your turn, and not when another person is already speaking.