Commencement of the Dissolution Case

The Dissolution of Marriage process commences with the filing of the Petition (Judicial Council Form FL-100) . This document includes the following information:

- Identification of the parties (Husband and Wife):

- Information concerning the minor children of the marriage;

- Listing of community and separate property;

- Relief requested, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, etc.

The Petition is filed and then served with a copy of the Summons (Judicial Council Form FL-110). This is a court paper that formally advises the other party (the Respondent) that the Dissolution of Marriage action has been filed. The Response includes the same type of information as the Petition but sets forth the Respondent's position as to each claim made in the Petition.

Summons and Standard Temporary Restraining Orders

The Summons (Family Law) must be served along with the Petition. This is the form that informs the Respondent that an action for dissolution of marriage has been filed and that the Respondent has thirty (30) days to file the Response (Family Law).

The second page of the summons contains four Standard Temporary Restraining Orders, which are binding on both parties once the Petition has been served on the respondent. These orders restrain both parties from:

  • Removing the minor child or children of the parties, if any, from the state without the prior written consent of the other party or an order of the court.
  • Restraining both parties from transferring, encumbering, hypothecating, concealing, or in any way disposing of any property, real or personal, whether community, quasi-community, or separate, without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life, and requiring each party to notify the other party of any proposed extraordinary expenditures at least five business days before incurring those expenditures and to account to the court for all extraordinary expenditures made after service of the summons on that party.
  • Borrowing against, canceling, transferring, disposing of, or changing the beneficiaries of any insurance or other coverage, including life, health, automobile, and disability, held for the benefit of the parties and their child or children for whom support may be ordered.
  • Creating a nonprobate transfer or modifying a nonprobate transfer in a manner that affects the disposition of property subject to the transfer, without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court.