Family Law Court

Family Law Courts hear cases involving divorce (dissolution of marriage), nullity, legal separation, and paternity, including related issues of spousal support, child support, child custody and visitation, and community property.  Family Court also hears cases of domestic violence and elder abuse.
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Other Things You Should Know About Domestic Violence Restraining Orders

What to do with your Restraining Order:
Keep a copy of the Order with you at all times and a copy at home, in your car, at your work, and at your child's school and/or daycare provider.

If the abuse caused you to lose money:
You can ask for restitution (to pay for medical bills, lost wages, property damage, legal fees for an attorney, and reimbursement for cost of shelter services) in your Request for Order. You must bring cost estimates and/or receipts with you to your hearing.

Child Custody and Visitation:
Custody and visitation orders made under the Domestic Violence Protection Act are temporary. If you are married to the other parent, you must file for a Dissolution (Divorce) or Legal Separation to get more permanent custody orders.

If you and the other parent are not legally married, you must file a parentage action to get more permanent custody orders.If you did not go to the court hearing and the judge made a restraining order against you, you can still ask the Court to see your children by filing an Order to Show cause. You may contact the Family Law Facilitator or talk to an attorney for advice.

The Court can make an exception to restraining orders for peaceful contact for court ordered visitation, or it can order supervised visitation. Also, check the court file to see if the judge ordered you to Child Custody Mediation Services for mediation. Visit the Family Law Facilitator for assistance.

Child Support:
If you want child support, you must fill out an Income and Expense Declaration or Simplified Financial Statement. File it with your Restraining Order Applications and have it served with a blank Income and Expense Declaration form to the other party. You may contact the Alameda County Department of Child Support Services or the Family Law Facilitator's Office for additional assistance .

Mediation and Domestic Violence:
If there is a history of domestic violence, you may ask to have your mediation session separate from the abuser. Be sure to make your wishes known at the time of your intake with the Custody Mediation Department. Let the mediator know before your session that you want to meet separately regardless of whether your meeting is outside the courtroom or in the mediator's office.


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