Blog Posts


October 21, 2022
How A Family Law Case Progresses From Start To Finish

Many people wonder how a family law case progresses from start to finish. John Castellano, a partner at Hartley Law, APLC, talks about the initial start of a family law case all the way to the end.

If you have any questions or would like to speak with an experienced family law attorney in California or Texas, contact Hartley Law, APLC today at 805-919-8346.

Many people wonder how a family law case progresses from start to finish. I’m John Costellano. I’m a family law attorney with Hartley Law, APLC.

How a Family Law Case Begins: Filing a Petition

A case begins with the filing of a petition. The petition starts the clock ticking toward your eligibility for a judgment in the case. The judgment is the final document in your case. The judgment divides property. It provides for support orders. It provides for parenting orders. And it dissolves your marital status, if you’re married.

Reaching a Judgment

It often takes a good amount of time to reach a judgment. A judgment can be reached through litigation or through an agreement. Sometimes it’s a combination of both.

Temporary Orders

Most of the time, people can’t wait that long to reach a judgment, so they need to apply to the court for assistance, for temporary orders, while they’re waiting for the final judgment.

This application process is often referred to as the motion procedure, or request for orders, or RFO process.

It really is just simply an application for temporary orders. The most common types of assistance that people need in a family law case are orders for parenting, child custody and visitation, and support, spousal support and child support.

And these orders, you just apply for them, you make an application, you provide your reasons supporting your application, and the court considers your application and decides whether to grant that request and issue a temporary order. And that order is in effect until either the orders are modified, and often until the judgment. It’s in place to kind of keep things in place until you get to a judgment.

It’s helpful to live with those temporary orders while you’re waiting for judgment because it allows you the opportunity to see what works and what doesn’t work with those orders. If the orders work for you, then they can be incorporated into your judgment. If they don’t work, then you can modify those orders so that the orders that wind up in your judgment are effective for you.

Litigation vs Agreements

Judgments, as I said, can be reached through litigation or through agreements. Agreements in turn can be reached in a number of ways, through written settlements, which can be approached through mediation, and other approaches to your case.

Help With Your Family Law Case

If there’s something that we can do to help you approach your case in an effective way for you please contact us at one of the links below. Thank you.

Join Our Mailing List

Updates & Firm News

Contact us to Discuss

Your Family’s Legal Issues

Whatever legal issues your family is facing, rest assured we can be of assistance. Call our Ventura office at (805) 639-0600 or contact us online to set up an initial consultation with a family attorney near you.
Get in Touch

Request A Consultation

Contact Us Today To Schedule Your Initial Consultation