Divorce

Since 1980, San Diego Divorce Attorney John A. Delisi has provided clients with legal representation in divorce cases primarily in San Diego County and, occasionally, in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties. San Diego Divorce Lawyer John A. Delisi welcomes clients from throughout Southern California. Divorce, also referred to as Dissolution, is the formal judicial process to terminate a marriage in California. The Superior Court of the State of California, in all counties throughout California, has subject matter jurisdiction to lawfully terminate marriages (as well as Domestic Partnerships). California is a ‘no-fault’ jurisdiction which means Petitioner is not required to allege grounds to terminate the marriage, such as adultery or abandonment. Petitioner simply needs to plead ‘irreconcilable differences’.

To be eligible as a Petitioner, the party who files the petition, one must be 18 years of age or older and free of legal restraints from executing legal documents. One younger than 18 years of age may be a Petitioner if emancipated by law or has a Guardian Ad Litem appointed by a court to pursue the case on his/her behalf. An example of a legal restraint which might be a legal impediment to one being eligible to file a divorce petition is a court order declaring a person to be legally insane or incompetent.

In California, Petitioner must also be a resident for the previous three months of the county in which the divorce action is to be filed and for the previous six months of the State of California. However, in Divorce cases only, Petitioner may plead that the other party, referred to as the Respondent, has satisfied the residency requirements. The Superior Court does not have personal jurisdiction over the Respondent until he/she has been served copies of the divorce papers. In particular, the Summons and Petition. Once Service of Process has been accomplished, the Superior Court has the authority to terminate the marriage on or after six months following the date Respondent was served.

Divorce is similar to lawsuits in general. They involve litigation and if not settled or dismissed, will go to trial. Divorce cases in San Diego County, whether Downtown San Diego, South Bay, East County, or North County, settle approximately 80% of the time. The parties’ rights and liabilities in Divorce cases are primarily described in the California Family Code as well as in pertinent case law. Additionally, the California Business and Professions Code, Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, Corporations Code, Education Code, Evidence Code, Government Code, Penal Code, Probate Code, Vehicle Code, Welfare And Institutions Code, United States Code, Code of Federal Regulations, Convention On The Civil Aspects Of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention), California Rules of Court, and local Rules of Court are applicable to divorce cases in California. Summary Dissolution is the divorce process for consenting parties in short, childless marriages with limited assets and debts and no claims for spousal support. Collaborative Divorce is available in California as an alternative to the time-consuming and costly process divorce can be to many parties. All of the issues raised in the pleadings of each party, such as termination of the marriage, child custody and visitation, spousal support, attorney’s fees and costs, and division of community property assets and debts, are to be settled by the parties. If not settled, the judge of the Superior Court will decide such issues after trial. Jury trials are not available in Family Court. Since 1980, San Diego Lawyer John A. Delisi has represented clients in marriages of as little as 1 week duration to as long as 47 years. San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Legal Separation

Just as in Divorce cases, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Legal Separation cases. Often times, parties do not wish to actually terminate their marriages. Their concerns may involve insurance, particularly health insurance, taxes, religion, retirement, and children. Instead, they prefer to remain married but live separate lives under the formal auspices of the court. The residency requirements applicable to divorce cases do not apply in Legal Separation cases. Though the parties in a Legal Separation must follow and comply with the same rules as those applicable to Divorce cases, in the end, judgment does not terminate the marriage. The parties remain married but are legally separated and under the judgment of the court.

Since 1980, San Diego Lawyer John A. Delisi has represented clients in Legal Separation cases for various reasons, including because judicial relief was required without delay and Petitioner was ineligible to file a petition for Divorce due to the lack of compliance of the residency requirement in San Diego County. A Petitioner can amend his/her petition for Legal Separation to that of Dissolution if residency requirements are satisfied.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Annulment

Just as in Divorce and Legal Separation cases, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Annulment cases. Just as in Legal Separation cases, the residency requirements applicable to divorce cases do not apply in Annulment cases. Annulment is the formal judicial process to declare a marriage null and void. In California, some marriages are considered void based on the marriage being incestuous or bigamous. And some marriages are consider voidable based on Petitioner’s age at time of marriage, prior existing marriage, unsound mind, fraud, force, and physical incapacity. Annulment is not available to parties simply because they have been married for a very short time. The time to bring an Annulment petition to court is limited.

Since 1980, San Diego Lawyer John A. Delisi has represented clients in Annulment cases.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Property Division

Particularly in Divorce and Legal separation cases, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients so as to either promote and pursue an Uncontested case with a comprehensive property settlement agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement [MSA] or Stipulation For Judgment) or, if necessary, to preserve and protect property rights in a Contested case which goes to trial. In either case, the parties are required to make formal disclosures of their assets and debts and income and expenses. If the parties are satisfied with their Preliminary Disclosures, they can waive the Final Disclosure. The settlement of cases is facilitated by the complete and truthful disclosures of assets and debts and income and expenses. Various tools are available to a party whose spouse tries to take action intended to frustrate the disclosure process. Such tools include depositions, subpoenas, interrogatories, and requests for admissions.

Since 1980, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Domestic cases involving property division with an emphasis on settlement, particularly since 80% of Divorce cases settle and avoid trial. Comprehensive settlement agreements, either Marital Settlement Agreements or Stipulations For Judgment, are strongly encouraged by San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi. It is particularly noteworthy that a contested case can take more than a year and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and costs to litigate and yet settle in the courthouse hallway the day of trial. San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi encourages settlement when settlement is, in all likelihood, within reach, just below the surface, and the alternative can be so destructive.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Child Custody and Visitation

Particularly in Divorce and Legal separation cases, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients involving child custody and visitation so as to either promote and pursue an Uncontested case with a comprehensive custody and visitation settlement agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement [MSA] or Stipulation For Judgment) or, if necessary, to preserve and protect custody and visitation rights in a Contested case which goes to trial.

Child Custody concerns both Legal Custody and Physical Custody (Primary Residence). Legal Custody concerns the general welfare of the minor children, such as education and health. Physical Custody concerns the location where the minor children reside. Most of the time, the parties lives in the same city. Sometimes, a Move-Away is at issue and must be addressed. Primarily, the San Diego Superior Court, having subject matter jurisdiction over the issue of minor children in Domestic cases, is concerned only with the best interests of the minor children. If the parents cannot decide these issues themselves, the court will do so. If the court is sought to decide Child Custody and Visitation, the parents are ordered to participate in mediation at Family Court Services (FCS). FCS will interview the parents, possibly others, including the minor children, depending on their age and maturity, as well as court order. FCS will prepare a written report including a recommended ‘Parenting Plan’. The court can be expected to make these recommendations an order of the court subject, however, to argument from parents and/or their counsel and evidence admitted into the record.

Since 1980, San Diego Child Custody and Visitation Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Domestic cases involving child custody and visitation with an emphasis on settlement, particularly since 80% of Divorce cases settle and avoid trial. Comprehensive settlement agreements, either Marital Settlement Agreements or Stipulations For Judgment, are strongly encouraged by San Diego Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer John A. Delisi. It is particularly noteworthy that a contested case can take more than a year and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and costs to litigate and yet settle in the courthouse hallway the day of trial. San Diego Child Custody and Visitation Attorney John A. Delisi encourages settlement when settlement is, in all likelihood, within reach, just below the surface, and the alternative can be so destructive.

Since 1980, San Diego Child Custody and Visitation Attorney John A. Delisi has also represented Grandparents to pursue child custody and visitation of their minor grandchildren. When parents of minor children fail to properly care for and raise their children, grandparents are empowered by law to step forward and apply to the Superior Court to seek to take care of and have custody of their minor grandchildren.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Child Support

Particularly in Divorce and Legal separation cases, San Diego Child Support Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients involving child support so as to either promote and pursue an Uncontested case with a comprehensive child support settlement agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement [MSA] or Stipulation For Judgment) or, if necessary, to preserve and protect child support rights in a Contested case which goes to trial.

Since 1980, San Diego Child Support Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Domestic cases involving child support with an emphasis on settlement, particularly since 80% of Divorce cases settle and avoid trial. Comprehensive settlement agreements, either Marital Settlement Agreements or Stipulations For Judgment, are strongly encouraged by San Diego Child Support Lawyer John A. Delisi. With a ‘Guideline’ Child Support formula, the parties should pursue a settlement of Child Support. It is particularly noteworthy that a contested case can take more than a year and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and costs to litigate and yet settle in the courthouse hallway the day of trial. San Diego Child Support Attorney John A. Delisi encourages settlement when settlement is, in all likelihood, within reach, just below the surface, and the alternative can be so destructive.

Since 1980, San Diego Child Support Attorney John A. Delisi, in representing Grandparents to pursue child custody and visitation of their minor grandchildren, has represented Grandparents regarding Child Support.

Since 1980, San Diego Child Support Lawyer John A. Delisi has also represented parents in actions involving the San Diego County Department of Child Support Services (SDCDCSS), which acts to seek and enforce Child Support obligations.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Spousal Support

Particularly in Divorce and Legal separation cases, San Diego Spousal Support Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients involving Spousal Support (Alimony) so as to either promote and pursue an Uncontested case with a comprehensive Spousal Support settlement agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement [MSA] or Stipulation For Judgment) or, if necessary, to preserve and protect Spousal Support rights in a Contested case which goes to trial.

California law considers marriages of less than 10 years duration to be ‘short-term’. If spousal support is an issue, in the absence of an agreement, the parties might expect Spousal Support to be ordered, if at all, for no longer than one-half the length the marriage. If the marriage exceeds 10 years duration, and in the absence of an agreement, Spousal Support might be ordered, if at all, ‘until further order of the court’. California law requires the parties in a Divorce or Legal Separation to be ‘self-supporting within a reasonable period of time’.

Since 1980, San Diego Spousal Support Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Domestic cases involving spousal support with an emphasis on settlement, particularly since 80% of Divorce cases settle and avoid trial. Comprehensive settlement agreements, either Marital Settlement Agreements or Stipulations For Judgment, are strongly encouraged by San Diego Spousal Support Lawyer John A. Delisi. It is particularly noteworthy that a contested case can take more than a year and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and costs to litigate and yet settle in the courthouse hallway the day of trial. San Diego Spousal Support Attorney John A. Delisi encourages settlement when settlement is, in all likelihood, within reach, just below the surface, and the alternative can be so destructive.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Paternity

Since 1980, San Diego Paternity Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Domestic cases involving Paternity of minor children. Typically, Paternity issues arise between unmarried parties. Either parent may file the Petition To Establish Parental Relationship and it is usually accompanied by an Order To Show Cause (request for a hearing). At the hearing, if a Prima Facie case has been made by Petitioner, DNA testing will likely be ordered by the court. If test results indicate a high probability of Paternity (such as 99%), the court can be expected to make orders of custody, visitation, and child support. As in any case involving Child Custody and Visitation, in the absence of an agreement, the parents will be ordered to Family Court Services (FCS) for mediation. FCS will then prepare a written report which will include a recommendation for a ‘Parenting Plan’.

San Diego Paternity Lawyer John A. Delisi has represented mothers and fathers in Paternity cases. And Attorney John A. Delisi has represented parties in Paternity cases involving Domestic Violence.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Restraining Orders

Particularly in Divorce and Legal separation cases, San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients involving restraining orders so as to either promote and pursue an Uncontested case with a comprehensive personal protection settlement agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement [MSA] or Stipulation For Judgment) or, if necessary, to preserve and protect personal protection rights in a Contested case which goes to trial.

A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) may be sought in cases of Divorce, Legal Separation, Annulment, Domestic Violence, or in a Civil action. Petitioner must present evidence to the court of recent and specific conduct by the Respondent (Defendant) such that it leads the court to believe that if the Respondent was not restrained as requested, the Respondent would, in fact, commit the conduct and harm the Petitioner.

Since 1980, particularly in Divorce and Domestic Violence cases, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients involving restraining orders, both in seeking them and in fighting against them. No TRO with merit should be denied and no TRO without merit should be granted.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Pre – marital Agreements

Since 1980, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in matters involving the preparation of Pre-marital (Pre-nuptial) Agreements. Typically, parties contemplating marriage consider a Pre-marital Agreement due to concerns involving their ownership of extensive assets, substantial income, actual and/or potential liabilities, children, and retirement. Primarily, Pre-marital Agreements provide for the parties to alter their rights and liabilities in ways inconsistent with California’s Community Property laws, as well as provide for the parties to alter their respective rights and liabilities as to Spousal Support. San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi strongly encourages clients who are considering a Pre-marital Agreement to consult with an attorney without delay and do so a minimum of three months prior to the wedding date. Sufficient time is required for both parties to seek independent legal representation, have a thorough investigatory and disclosure process, and execute the agreement.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Post – marital Agreements

Since 1980, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in matters involving the preparation of Post-marital (Post-nuptial) Agreements. Typically, parties already in a marriage consider a Post-marital Agreement due to concerns involving their ownership of extensive assets, substantial income, actual and/or potential liabilities, children, and retirement. Primarily, Post-marital Agreements provide for the parties to alter their rights and liabilities in ways inconsistent with California’s Community Property laws, as well as provide for the parties to alter their respective rights and liabilities as to Spousal Support. San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi strongly encourages clients who are considering a Post-marital Agreement to consult with an attorney without delay and do so prior to the accumulation of significant assets and debts.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Adoptions

Since 1980, San Diego Adoption Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in matters involving the preparation of adoption petitions. Typically, Attorney John A. Delisi is called upon to prepare petitions for Step-Parent Adoptions, Adult Adoptions, and Independent Adoptions. The Adoption process is non-adversary and, unless an extensive home-study is required, may be completed in 2-3 months. Parties in Adoption cases are typically happy so the request by the bailiff in the courtroom to smile when their picture is taken with the judge is a no-brainer.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Other Services Available

Estate Planning

Since 1980, San Diego Estate Planning Attorney John A. Delisi has provided estate planning services to clients. Clients are often times slow to provide for the disposition of their estates. Unfortunately, many believe executing a Will in their later years is all that is necessary. San Diego Estate Planning Attorney John A. Delisi strongly encourages clients to consult with an attorney without delay to learn of the disadvantages to simply executing a Will and, in the alternative, the advantages to executing a Living Revocable Trust with attendant Pour-Over Will, as well as related power of attorney and Advance Health Care Directive. An entire estate plan will be discussed in detail.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.


Civil Litigation And Other Matters

Since 1980, San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi has provided legal representation to clients involved in various types of cases. The most common is Personal Injury whereby a client has been injured in a motor vehicle or slip and fall accident. In such cases, San Diego Personal Injury Attorney John A. Delisi offers contingent fee (no recovery, no fee) agreements if insurance coverage is available and liability of the other party (the defendant) appears certain. San Diego Wrongful Death Lawyer John A. Delisi also provides representation in Wrongful Death cases, also with contingent fees if insurance coverage is available and liability appears certain.

In a different type of matter, a client retained San Diego Civil Attorney John A. Delisi to represent him in response to an attorney threatening him with legal action because of an incident involving a very minor assault and battery. San Diego Lawyer John A. Delisi defused the matter essentially by calling the attorney’s bluff, arguing no assault occurred because his client’s back was turned and he did not witness the act and any battery that may have occurred could only generate nominal damages (the damage in question would disappear in time). No one went to court in this frivolous matter. This client of San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi was not indebted to this individual.

In another matter, a client retained San Diego Civil Lawyer John A. Delisi to represent him in a civil action for damages stemming from his comments to the media regarding the confiscation of animals by the California Department of Fish And Game. A motion to dismiss the action was filed on behalf of the client for San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi, claiming First Amendment Free Speech rights. The Superior Court in Riverside County dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint.

In another matter, a client retained San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi to seek the return of an impounded Chevrolet Corvette automobile following the drug-related arrest of an individual who borrowed the car from the client. After the filing of a motion with the court, opposition and argument by the Riverside District Attorney, and approximately two years time, client of San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi picked-up and returned to San Diego with his Corvette on a flat-bed truck, 4 flat tires and all.

In another matter, clients retained San Diego Civil Attorney John A. Delisi to represent them in a Road-rage case. After extensive time and litigation, Plaintiff backed-off and the clients of San Diego Civil Attorney John A. Delisi were not indebted to this individual.

In another matter, a client retained San Diego Civil Attorney John A. Delisi to seek a Temporary Restraining Order, a Preliminary Injunction, and a Permanent Injunction against a close family member regarding a disputed Power of Attorney. Client of San Diego Civil Attorney John A. Delisi prevailed and was awarded attorney’s fees and costs.

In another matter, a client retained San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi to file a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy case. Client’s union filed an adversary complaint alleging the debt owing by client was non-dischargeable. The debt was a fine levied against client for crossing a picket line to go to work. San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi counseled client as to the lack of merit of the union’s case. Attorney John A. Delisi filed an Answer to the complaint. When Plaintiff union did little to prosecute its case, Attorney John A. Delisi filed a Motion For Summary Judgment and prevailed. As part of its order, the Bankruptcy Court ordered the union to pay the attorney’s fees and costs incurred by the client of Attorney John A. Delisi. Union appealed the order of attorney’s fees and costs (and not the order regarding dischareability of the debt). San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi agreed to handle the appeal. Approximately four years after the case was first filed, the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel ruled in favor of the client for Attorney John A. Delisi and ordered the union to pay the attorney’s fees and costs incurred by client in the appeal.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.

Call for a FREE CONSULTATION: 858.292.1207

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