Overview of Divorce Litigation

The firm’s Family Law Litigators are Hellen J. Hernandez and Gina P. Arancibia.  Hellen is the firm’s Trial Attorney.

Family Law Divorce Litigation involves going to Court. A party can either hire an attorney, or be self-represented (known as being “in pro per”). Issues to be argued are described in written pleadings that must be filed, in advance, with the Court. Whether you have an attorney, or represent yourself, the Court expects advocates to know the laws concerning the underlying substantive issues being argued (see: The California Family Code); the law involving admissibility of evidence (see: The California Evidence Code); and the law controlling Court procedures (see: The California Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, The Rules of Court, and the Local Rules for the County in which the action is occurring).

Temporary orders are obtained at Law and Motion hearings, in which Litigants have anywhere from a few minutes to 1/2 an hour in front of a Judge to make their arguments.

Prior to going to trial, Litigants are required to attend mandatory settlement conference for a day. If the matter is not settled there, Litigants are confirmed to trial, where each side is responsible for submitting evidence to the Court. If not previously obtained by agreement, this is where Litigants obtain a Judgment, which is a final court order.

A fully litigated case takes anywhere from six months to several years to complete, and is ‘one size fits all’, which means that any and all disputes that cannot be resolved outside of the courtroom can be resolved there. While Litigation can be traumatic, it is also an appropriate process option to handle cases involving significant allegations of active domestic violence, or active substance abuse, or when dealing with a spouse or partner who, for whatever other reasons, can only be dealt with by order of a Superior Court Judge.

Call us at 916-921-7000, or email us at, to schedule an appointment with Hellen or Gina, to discuss whether Litigation is the right process option for you and your family.