How Do I Get Court Orders In California?

In order to get a court order in California that pertains to child custody, child visitation, support, or any other related issue, you must first give the state of California jurisdiction over the subject and over the people involved.  For purposes of family law matters, California obtains jurisdiction over the subject matter by having someone file a petition in the appropriate county of a California court, and the court will issue a Summons.  The Summons and Petition must then be personally served on the opposing party.  Once that is accomplished, the court has “subject matter” and “personal” jurisdiction and can then make enforceable orders.  In family law, we have many different types of petitions.  The most common is a petition for dissolution of marriage (divorce) or a petition for legal separation.  But we also have petitions for custody, petition to establish parental relationship (for unmarried parents), and so forth.  If you have a judgment or order from another state and you now live in California, it would be worth the expense to have your judgment and/or order “registered” in California so that the California courts can recognize and enforce it if it becomes necessary.