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Is my Divorce case considered a civil case? Do I search my local rules under civil trials to figure out how to conduct things?

Sacramento, CA |

When I search in my Local Rules, do I look under civil lawsuits to find procedural information to follow for my Divorce trial? I want to make sure I know how to submit things to the court and to my spouse, and also deadlines, and the Family Law Rules are not giving me any information on specific things.

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Attorney answers 5


It is a civil case but there are usually specific rules for family law cases. Look under the local rules for family law rules.


In a family law trial, you will need to follow:
(a) the state law of civil procedure and evidence;
(b) the state (California) Rules of Court;
(c) the local rules of court and
(d) any rules, time-lines, time-limits, etc. set up in the trial-setting or pre-trial orders in your case.

Unless you've got both knowledge and experience with all these rules, you should at least consult an EXPERIENCED attorney to assist you.


Yes, a divorce is a civil suit. Go to the court's website and you should be able to pull up a pdf document from there that lists any count/court specific local rules. Feel free to contact me if you have any other questions.

J. Spencer Nilsson


While a divorce can be considered a civil action, you would not look at the Local Rules for Civil cases unless the Local Rules for Family Law cases specifically refer to Local Rules for Civil Cases. To the extent that the Family Law Local Rules don't contain specific rules, you would apply the general rules found in the California Code of Civil Procedures and the California Rules of Court. Some judges also have their own rules and it does not hurt to ask the judge's clerk whether the judge has any written rules.


In Sacramento County, the family law section of the local rules have a great deal of information on local trial procedures. Here is the link: (click on "Family Law")

I hope this is helpful.

This communication of information (1) is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, (2) is not intended as a solicitation, (3) is not intended to convey or constitute legal advice, and (4) is not a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a qualified attorney within your jurisdiction. You should not act upon this information without first seeking counsel on your specific legal issues.