Family law is an extremely broad field and each case and specific practice area will have its own set of practices and procedures. With that being said, there is a general process that is common to all family cases in the State of California. What follows is a rough guide to what you can expect if you are pursuing a family law case.

The first step is a petition

Whether you are dealing with child custody, child support case or a divorce, legal separation or paternity, it all starts with a petition being filed by your family law attorney on your behalf. The exact content of the petition will depend on the type of case and the specific circumstances, but this document, together with summonses and other documents, sets the wheels in motion.

Status conferences

The next step is the first status conference, at which the parties and their legal representatives discuss the matter and the outcome that each side desires. These conferences will continue to be held regularly until the matter is resolved.

Mediation or trial

Depending on what kind of case you are involved with, the next step will either be to go to mediation or court. If it is a custody or visitation case, there will be parent mediation and orientation meetings, as well as judicial custody conferences (JCC) and custody settlement conferences (CSC). For child support or parentage cases, a mandatory settlement conference (MSC) will be called. The case can sometimes be resolved in these meetings. If it is not, then it will proceed to court where a final judgment is handed down.  

Westover Law Group is one of Southern California’s leading family law firms. Our experienced family law attorneys will guide and represent you throughout the family law process. Contact us for more information or to book a consultation.