Bay Area Justicecorps Family Law Quiz

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This test is administered at the beginning and at the conclusion of your JusticeCorp experience to evaluate your level of knowledge in the area of Family Law/Dissolution of Marriage. “Dissolution of Marriage” refers to the legal proceeding in California commonly referred to as “divorce”. The “Petitioner” is the spouse who files the divorce court case and the “Respondent” is the spouse who receives the divorce papers.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    If a litigant with two minor children wants to start a divorce case, what forms must he/she file to start the case?

    • A.

      Summons

    • B.

      File a Dissolution of Marriage

    • C.

      UCCJEA

    • D.

      All of the above

    Correct Answer
    D. All of the above
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "All of the above". In order to start a divorce case, a litigant with two minor children must file a Summons, File a Dissolution of Marriage, and UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act) forms. These forms are necessary to initiate the legal process and address various aspects such as serving the other party, stating the grounds for divorce, and establishing jurisdiction over child custody matters. Filing all of these forms is essential to properly commence the divorce case.

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  • 2. 

    What are the minimum “residency requirements” for filing a divorce case?

    • A.

      Either Petitioner or Respondent must have resided in California for the past 6 months and the County for the past 3 months immediately preceding the filing of the action.

    • B.

      Or resided in California for 1 month and in the County for 3 months

    • C.

      Or resided in California for 1 year and the County for 6 months

    • D.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    A. Either Petitioner or Respondent must have resided in California for the past 6 months and the County for the past 3 months immediately preceding the filing of the action.
    Explanation
    The correct answer is that either the Petitioner or the Respondent must have resided in California for the past 6 months and the County for the past 3 months immediately preceding the filing of the action. This means that at least one of the parties involved in the divorce case must have lived in California for 6 months and in the specific county where the case is being filed for 3 months. This residency requirement ensures that the court has jurisdiction over the case and that the parties have a sufficient connection to the state and county.

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  • 3. 

    After Respondent has been personally served with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, how soon may the parties be legally divorced?

    • A.

      Six months and a day after the date

    • B.

      Immediately

    • C.

      1 month

    • D.

      1 year

    Correct Answer
    A. Six months and a day after the date
    Explanation
    After being personally served with the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, the parties may be legally divorced six months and a day after the date.

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  • 4. 

    After being served with divorce papers, what must Respondent do in order to become a “party” to the case?

    • A.

      File a Response Form in the court where the Petitioner was filed.

    • B.

      Nothing, by being served papers the Respondent is automatically “party” to the case.

    • C.

      Get a lawyer to file papers to the Petitioner.

    Correct Answer
    B. Nothing, by being served papers the Respondent is automatically “party” to the case.
    Explanation
    By being served with divorce papers, the Respondent automatically becomes a "party" to the case. This means that they are now involved in the legal proceedings and have the right to participate in the case. They do not need to take any additional action, such as filing a response form or getting a lawyer to file papers to the Petitioner. Simply being served with the papers is enough to establish their status as a party to the case.

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  • 5. 

    Who may Petitioner choose to personally deliver (“serve”) the initial divorce papers to Respondent?

    • A.

      Anyone 18 years or older who is not a “party to the action.”

    • B.

      A Petitioner or Respondent may serve papers in their own cases.

    • C.

      A lawyer must serve a Respondent or a Petitioner their papers.

    • D.

      It does not matter who serves the papers.

    Correct Answer
    A. Anyone 18 years or older who is not a “party to the action.”
    Explanation
    The correct answer is that anyone 18 years or older who is not a "party to the action" may serve the initial divorce papers to the respondent. This means that the petitioner can choose any adult who is not directly involved in the divorce case to personally deliver the papers to the respondent. It is not necessary for a lawyer to serve the papers, and both the petitioner and respondent have the option to serve papers in their own cases.

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  • 6. 

    How may a litigant serve papers?

    • A.

      Personal service

    • B.

      Notice of acknowledgement

    • C.

      Service by publication

    • D.

      All of the Above

    Correct Answer
    D. All of the Above
    Explanation
    A litigant may serve papers in multiple ways. Personal service involves physically delivering the documents to the recipient. Notice of acknowledgement is a method where the recipient acknowledges receiving the papers. Service by publication is used when the recipient's whereabouts are unknown, and the papers are published in a newspaper or other public medium. Therefore, all of the above options are valid methods for a litigant to serve papers.

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  • 7. 

    What is the impact of domestic violence (DV) on child custody and visitation issues?

    • A.

      If there was DV in the past 5 years then there is a presumption that an award of sole, or joint custody of that child should not go to the person who perpetrated the DV.

    • B.

      If there has been no DV in the past 5 years the courts won’t recognize it as part of the case.

    • C.

      Any DV on a child means that the perpetrator will be arrested and lose all legal custodial rights.

    Correct Answer
    A. If there was DV in the past 5 years then there is a presumption that an award of sole, or joint custody of that child should not go to the person who perpetrated the DV.
    Explanation
    If there has been domestic violence (DV) within the past 5 years, it is presumed that the person who committed the DV should not be awarded sole or joint custody of the child. This means that the court will consider the history of DV when making decisions about custody and visitation rights. However, if there has been no DV within the past 5 years, the court will not take it into account in the case. Additionally, any DV against a child will result in the perpetrator being arrested and losing all legal custodial rights.

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  • 8. 

    What is the difference between “reserving jurisdiction” and “terminating jurisdiction?”

    • A.

      Reserving means the court retains jurisdiction to make court orders and either party may file a request. Termination means that the court’s jurisdiction to make court orders regarding that particular issue is terminated permanently.

    • B.

      Reserving means that each litigant reserves the right to a lawyer. Termination means that a litigant refuses to be represented by a lawyer.

    • C.

      Reserving means that the court has the right to refuse a case. Termination means that the court has decided to throw a case out.

    Correct Answer
    A. Reserving means the court retains jurisdiction to make court orders and either party may file a request. Termination means that the court’s jurisdiction to make court orders regarding that particular issue is terminated permanently.
  • 9. 

    On what specific grounds may a litigant apply for a fee waiver? (1)If he/she receives benefits from income-based government programs (CalWorks etc); (2) If his/her gross household monthly income does not exceed the guideline chart on the Info Sheet Re Fee Waiver; (3) If he/she claims that he/she cannot afford the filing fee (Petition fee or Response Fee) and also pay for the necessities of life (“he cannot afford it”)

    • A.

      All of the above

    • B.

      1 and 2 only

    • C.

      1 and 3 only

    • D.

      3 and 2 only

    Correct Answer
    A. All of the above
    Explanation
    A litigant may apply for a fee waiver if they receive benefits from income-based government programs, if their gross household monthly income does not exceed the guideline chart on the Info Sheet Re Fee Waiver, or if they claim that they cannot afford the filing fee and also pay for the necessities of life. The correct answer is "All of the above" because all three options are valid grounds for a litigant to apply for a fee waiver.

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  • 10. 

    Legal documents filed with the court may be typed or handwritten.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    Legal documents filed with the court may be typed or handwritten. This means that individuals have the option to either type or write out their legal documents when submitting them to the court. There is no specific requirement for the format in which these documents should be presented, allowing for flexibility in how they are prepared.

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  • 11. 

    Adultery is one of the legal grounds for divorce in California

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    Adultery is not one of the legal grounds for divorce in California. California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither spouse is required to prove fault or wrongdoing in order to obtain a divorce. Instead, the only grounds for divorce in California are irreconcilable differences, which simply means that the couple has experienced a breakdown in their marriage and cannot resolve their differences. Therefore, the statement that adultery is one of the legal grounds for divorce in California is false.

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  • 12. 

    Both Husband and Wife must meet “minimum residency requirements” in order to file a divorce case in California and in the appropriate county.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The explanation for the given answer "False" is that only one spouse needs to meet the "minimum residency requirements" in order to file a divorce case in California and in the appropriate county. Both husband and wife do not have to meet these requirements simultaneously.

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  • 13. 

    After the “Petitioner” files her divorce case at the court; the court clerk will send a copy of the divorce papers to the “Respondent.”

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The statement is false because it assumes that the petitioner is always the one who files for divorce. In reality, either spouse can file for divorce, so it is not always the petitioner who initiates the process. Additionally, the court clerk does not automatically send a copy of the divorce papers to the respondent. The respondent is typically served with the divorce papers by a process server or through certified mail.

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  • 14. 

    A litigant should first deliver the divorce court papers to his/her spouse and then file the court papers with the court.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The correct answer is False. In most jurisdictions, the litigant is required to file the divorce court papers with the court first and then serve them to the spouse. This ensures that the court has a record of the divorce proceedings and can properly process the case. Serving the papers to the spouse after filing them with the court ensures that the spouse is properly notified of the divorce proceedings and has an opportunity to respond.

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  • 15. 

    A litigant must have an attorney represent him/her at a court hearing in front of a judge.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The statement is false because a litigant is not required to have an attorney represent them at a court hearing in front of a judge. While it is often recommended to have legal representation, individuals have the right to represent themselves in court, known as pro se representation. This means that a litigant can choose to present their case and argue on their own behalf without the assistance of an attorney. However, it is important to note that having legal expertise can be beneficial in navigating the complexities of the legal system.

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  • 16. 

    When the initial divorce papers are personally delivered to Respondent, Respondent must sign a “proof of service” indicating acceptance of the court papers.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The statement is false because when the initial divorce papers are personally delivered to the Respondent, they are not required to sign a "proof of service" indicating acceptance of the court papers. The Respondent may choose to sign the proof of service, but it is not mandatory.

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  • 17. 

    A credit card debt held in Wife’s name only which was incurred during the marriage before separation is usually considered a “community property debt.”

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    In many jurisdictions, debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage are considered community property debts, regardless of whose name is on the debt. This means that even if the credit card debt is held solely in the wife's name, it is still considered a community property debt if it was incurred during the marriage before separation. Therefore, the statement is true.

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  • 18. 

    If the Respondent in a divorce case fails to file a Response with the court within 30 days of being personally served with the court papers; he/she loses the right to file a Response.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    If the Respondent in a divorce case fails to file a Response with the court within 30 days of being personally served with the court papers, it does not mean that he/she loses the right to file a Response. While it is generally recommended to file a Response within the given time frame, the Respondent still has the right to file a Response even if they miss the initial deadline. However, failing to file a Response within the specified time may result in the court proceeding without their input, potentially leading to a default judgment.

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  • 19. 

    In the state of California, all divorce cases require at least one court hearing in front of a judge.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    In the state of California, not all divorce cases require a court hearing in front of a judge. While some cases may require a hearing, there are alternative methods of resolving a divorce such as mediation or settlement conferences. Therefore, the statement that all divorce cases require at least one court hearing in front of a judge is false.

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  • 20. 

    A gift or inheritance to one spouse during the marriage before separation is usually “community property.”

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    In this case, the correct answer is False. The statement suggests that a gift or inheritance to one spouse during the marriage before separation is usually considered as community property. However, this is incorrect. Generally, gifts or inheritances received by one spouse during the marriage before separation are considered separate property, meaning they belong solely to that individual and are not subject to division in the event of a divorce or separation.

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  • 21. 

    Court-based Mediation between Husband and Wife is mandatory before any non-emergency, contested child custody hearing.  

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    In many jurisdictions, court-based mediation between husband and wife is indeed mandatory before any non-emergency, contested child custody hearing. This requirement is put in place to encourage the parties to resolve their disputes amicably and to prioritize the best interests of the child. Mediation provides an opportunity for the couple to discuss their concerns and preferences regarding custody arrangements with the help of a neutral third party. It aims to facilitate communication, compromise, and potentially reach a mutually satisfactory agreement without the need for a formal court hearing.

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  • 22. 

    Adopted children should not be included as “children of the marriage” in the divorce papers.  

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The statement is false because adopted children should be included as "children of the marriage" in the divorce papers. Adopted children have the same legal rights and responsibilities as biological children, and excluding them from the divorce papers would be unfair and potentially harmful to their well-being. Including adopted children in the divorce papers ensures that they are considered in any custody or support arrangements and that their best interests are taken into account during the divorce process.

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  • 23. 

    All earnings from employment by Husband or Wife which are kept in separate bank accounts during the marriage are usually “separate property.”

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    Earnings from employment by Husband or Wife which are kept in separate bank accounts during the marriage are not usually considered "separate property." In most cases, these earnings are considered marital property and subject to division in the event of a divorce. Marital property typically includes all income and assets acquired during the marriage, regardless of which spouse earned them or how they are held.

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  • 24. 

    A retirement fund or pension held in the name of one spouse only and earned before marriage, during marriage and after separation may be characterized as both “separate property” of that spouse and “community property” of the marriage.  

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    In some jurisdictions, a retirement fund or pension held in the name of one spouse only can be characterized as both "separate property" and "community property" of the marriage. This means that even though it is technically owned by one spouse, it may still be considered a part of the marital estate and subject to division in the event of divorce. This characterization can depend on various factors such as the laws of the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the marriage.

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  • 25. 

    Children born before the date of marriage should be included in the divorce case as “children of the marriage.”

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    Children born before the date of marriage should be included in the divorce case as "children of the marriage" because they are still legally recognized as the children of both spouses, regardless of the timing of their birth. Including them in the divorce case ensures that their rights and interests are protected and that appropriate arrangements can be made for their welfare and support during the divorce proceedings.

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  • 26. 

    In California, spousal support is only awarded in a marriage of 10 years or longer.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    Spousal support in California is not solely based on the duration of the marriage. While longer marriages may increase the likelihood of spousal support being awarded, it is not a strict requirement. The court considers various factors such as the earning capacity of each spouse, their standard of living during the marriage, and their ability to maintain that standard post-divorce. Therefore, spousal support can be awarded in marriages of any duration if the circumstances warrant it.

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  • 27. 

    In California only paralegals and attorneys may give “legal advice.”

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    A. True
    Explanation
    In California, only paralegals and attorneys are authorized to provide "legal advice." This means that individuals who are not licensed as paralegals or attorneys are not permitted to offer guidance or counsel on legal matters. This regulation is in place to ensure that individuals seeking legal advice receive accurate and reliable information from qualified professionals who have the necessary knowledge and expertise in the field of law.

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  • 28. 

    When both spouses in a divorce case are employed, neither spouse may request spousal support.

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    In a divorce case where both spouses are employed, it is still possible for one spouse to request spousal support. The employment status of both spouses does not automatically disqualify either party from seeking spousal support. The court will consider various factors such as the income disparity between the spouses, the length of the marriage, and the financial needs of each spouse when determining whether spousal support is appropriate. Therefore, the statement that neither spouse may request spousal support when both are employed is false.

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  • 29. 

    When the noncustodial parent fails to pay his/her court ordered child support, the custodial parent may deny visitation with the children.  

    • A.

      True

    • B.

      False

    Correct Answer
    B. False
    Explanation
    The statement is false because visitation rights and child support are two separate legal matters. The custodial parent cannot deny visitation rights to the noncustodial parent based on non-payment of child support. While it is important for the noncustodial parent to fulfill their financial obligations, visitation rights should not be used as leverage or punishment in this situation.

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  • 30. 

    Select the definition that best matches Service of Process:

    • A.

      Legally effective delivery of legal documents

    • B.

      A statement or assertion made with out proof

    • C.

      A formal court proceeding with all parties in the case present

    Correct Answer
    A. Legally effective delivery of legal documents
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "Legally effective delivery of legal documents." This definition accurately describes the concept of service of process, which refers to the formal delivery of legal documents to notify an individual or entity that they are being sued or that a legal action is being taken against them. It is an essential part of ensuring that all parties involved in a legal case are properly informed and have the opportunity to respond.

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  • 31. 

    Select the definition that best matches Community Property:

    • A.

      Legal procedure that requires the employer of a judgment debtor to with hold a portion of the judgment debtors wages

    • B.

      Assets and Debts purchased/incurred during the marriage and before the date of separation

    • C.

      The final decision by the court

    • D.

      Assets and debts incurred before the marriage and after the separation

    Correct Answer
    B. Assets and Debts purchased/incurred during the marriage and before the date of separation
    Explanation
    Community property refers to assets and debts that are acquired or incurred by a married couple during their marriage and before the date of separation. This means that any property or debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage are considered community property and are typically divided equally between the spouses in the event of a divorce or legal separation.

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  • 32. 

    Select the definition that best matches Legal Custody:

    • A.

      The legal decision making power over mutual property

    • B.

      The legal decision making power over liquid assets

    • C.

      The legal decision making power over the children

    Correct Answer
    C. The legal decision making power over the children
    Explanation
    Legal custody refers to the authority and responsibility of making important decisions regarding the upbringing and welfare of a child. This includes decisions related to the child's education, healthcare, religion, and general well-being. It does not pertain to property or assets, but specifically focuses on the decision-making power over the children.

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  • 33. 

    Select the definition that best matches Order to Show Cause:

    • A.

      An evidentiary hearing held during the divorce before final judgment is entered

    • B.

      An evidentiary hearing held after final judgment

    • C.

      A and B

    Correct Answer
    C. A and B
    Explanation
    The correct answer is A and B. An Order to Show Cause is a legal term that refers to an evidentiary hearing held during the divorce process before the final judgment is entered. It can also be an evidentiary hearing held after the final judgment. Both options A and B accurately define the term.

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  • 34. 

    Select the definition that best matches Findings and Order After Hearings:

    • A.

      The legal finding by a judge or jury that the accused is not guilty

    • B.

      A document prepared by the litigant or the court clerk after a hearing which contains all of the orders made by the judge

    • C.

      A court having jurisdiction to review the law as applied in a prior determination of the same case

    Correct Answer
    B. A document prepared by the litigant or the court clerk after a hearing which contains all of the orders made by the judge
    Explanation
    Findings and Order After Hearings refers to a document that is prepared by either the litigant or the court clerk after a hearing. This document includes all of the orders that have been made by the judge during the hearing. It serves as a record of the decisions and rulings made in the case.

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  • 35. 

    Select the definition that best matches Separate Property:

    • A.

      Assets and Debts earned/acquired/incurred after the date of marriage or after the date of separation or a gift or inheritance during the marriage

    • B.

      Assets and Debts earned/acquired/incurred before the date of marriage or after the date of separation or a gift or inheritance during the marriage

    • C.

      Assets and Debts that were specified in a prenuptial agreement

    Correct Answer
    B. Assets and Debts earned/acquired/incurred before the date of marriage or after the date of separation or a gift or inheritance during the marriage
    Explanation
    Separate Property refers to assets and debts that were acquired or incurred before the date of marriage or after the date of separation, as well as any gifts or inheritances received during the marriage. This means that these assets and debts are not considered part of the marital property and are not subject to division during divorce proceedings.

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