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Handling Family Law Matters Since 1980
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Since 1980, San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi has represented countless California residents in Family Law matters.  He provides clients with aggressive and competent legal representation in every matter he handles.

  • 35+ years family law experience
  • Hourly and flat fee agreements available
  • All calls returned the same day or within 24 hours. To protect callers, Attorney Delisi will not return calls from callers who hang up without leaving a message.
  • Free consultations & free parking

Contact Mr. Delisi today if you need legal assistance with any of the following:

  • Family Law
  • Divorce
  • Legal Separation
  • Annulment
  • Child Custody
  • Child Visitation
  • Move-Away
  • Child Support
  • Spousal Support
  • Property Rights
  • Domestic Violence
  • Paternity
  • Pre-Marital Agreements
  • Post-Marital Agreements
  • Grandparent Rights
  • Uncontested Divorce

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.
His office serves San Diego County, Imperial County, Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and Los Angeles County.

Call Attorney John Delisi today at 858-522-9900, or complete the contact form provided on this site to arrange your initial consultation.

Attorney Profile

Attorney John A. Delisi

Jurisdictions:

  • State of California

Education:

  • Southern Illinois University Bachelor of Science, 1974
  • Western State Univ; CA (Thomas Jefferson School Of Law), 1978

Admitted To The Bar:

  • December 16, 1980

Professional Memberships:

  • State Bar of California
  • San Diego County Bar Association

Divorce Attorney in San Diego

Since 1980, Attorney John A. Delisi has provided clients with legal representation in divorce cases in San Diego County as well as in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties. Our law office welcomes clients from throughout Southern California. Divorce, which is also referred to as Dissolution, is the formal judicial process to terminate a marriage in California. The Superior Court of the State of California, in all counties throughout California, has subject matter jurisdiction to lawfully terminate marriages (as well as Domestic Partnerships). California is a ‘no-fault’ jurisdiction which means Petitioner is not required to allege grounds to terminate the marriage, such as adultery or abandonment. Petitioner simply needs to plead ‘irreconcilable differences’.

To be eligible as a Petitioner, the party who files the petition, one must be 18 years of age or older and free of legal restraints from executing legal documents. One younger than 18 years of age may be a Petitioner if emancipated by law or has a Guardian Ad Litem appointed by a court to pursue the case on his/her behalf. An example of a legal restraint which might be a legal impediment to one being eligible to file a divorce petition is a court order declaring a person to be legally insane or incompetent.

In California, Petitioner must also be a resident for the previous three months of the county in which the divorce action is to be filed and for the previous six months of the State of California. However, in divorce cases only, Petitioner may plead that the other party, referred to as the Respondent, has satisfied the residency requirements. The Superior Court does not have personal jurisdiction over the Respondent until he/she has been served copies of the divorce papers, in particular, the Summons and Petition. Once Service of Process has been accomplished, the Superior Court has the authority to terminate the marriage on or after six months following the date Respondent was served.

Divorce is similar to lawsuits in general. They involve litigation and if not settled or dismissed, will go to trial. Divorce cases in San Diego County, whether Downtown San Diego, South Bay, East County, or North County, settle approximately 80% of the time. The parties’ rights and liabilities in Divorce cases are primarily described in the California Family Code as well as in pertinent case law. Additionally, the California Business and Professions Code, Civil Code, Code of Civil Procedure, Corporations Code, Education Code, Evidence Code, Government Code, Penal Code, Probate Code, Vehicle Code, Welfare And Institutions Code, United States Code, Code of Federal Regulations, Convention On The Civil Aspects Of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention), California Rules of Court, and local Rules of Court are applicable to divorce cases in California. Summary Dissolution is the divorce process for consenting parties in short, childless marriages with limited assets and debts and no claims for spousal support. Collaborative Divorce is available in California as an alternative to the time-consuming and costly process divorce can be to many parties. All of the issues raised in the pleadings of each party, such as termination of the marriage, child custody and visitation, spousal support, attorney’s fees and costs, and division of community property assets and debts, are to be settled by the parties. If not settled, the judge of the Superior Court will decide such issues after trial. Jury trials are not available in Family Court.

Attorney Delisi has represented clients in marriages of as little as 1 week duration to as long as 47 years and will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.

Contact us today to set up your FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION.
 

San Diego Uncontested Divorce Attorney

What is an “Uncontested Divorce”?

An example of an uncontested divorce might look something like the following scenario:

Getting Started: Mary retains Attorney Delisi to represent her in the dissolution of her marriage to David. Because Mary indicates that she and David have already agreed to the terms of their settlement, Attorney Delisi is charging Mary a flat fee plus costs. This flat fee was quoted to Mary at her free consultation and installment payments were arranged for Mary’s convenience. Costs include the court’s filing fees, service of process fees, photocopy, postage, supplies, and related expenses.

Upon retaining Attorney Delisi, Mary receives a dissolution questionnaire and a blank Income & Expenses Declaration for her to complete. David can indicate his agreement to the terms of settlement by initialing the questionnaire next to Mary’s initials. This gives Mary reasonable assurance that David is ‘with her’ regarding their settlement. When Mary completes these documents, she meets with Attorney Delisi to go over everything, especially to ensure that Mary is properly counseled and receiving the greatest protection under the law. Any and all concerns are to be resolved at this stage.

Moving Forward: If everything is in order, Attorney Delisi prepares her case, including the Summons, Petition, and related documents. When these documents are ready, Mary is notified and scheduled an appointment. Upon her review and execution of these documents, as well as payment of the next installment (for costs), Mary’s case is filed with the court. When returned by the court, Mary’s documents, as well as her Preliminary Declaration Of Disclosure, are prepared to be served upon David. In this case, because David has agreed to accept Mary’s documents, they will be mailed to him. This saves Mary the fees for service of process.

Once served, David has 30 days to respond to Mary’s Summons and Petition. Though David has elected not to retain his own attorney, he has elected to make an appearance in this case by filing his Response with the court. By doing so, David is obligated to prepare and serve his Preliminary Declaration Of Disclosure. Even if David elected not to make an appearance by filing a Response, but instead allowed his default to be taken, he still would be required to prepare and serve his Preliminary Declaration Of Disclosure due to the intention of the parties to file a settlement agreement (described below).

Marital Settlement Agreement: Once both parties have served their respective Preliminary Declarations Of Disclosure, and the information contained in both is consistent with Mary’s questionnaire (containing the initials of both parties), Attorney Delisi can prepare the Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA). The MSA, which is to be attached to the Judgment, replaces the need for a trial and includes all of the issues raised in the dissolution of the marriage between Mary and David, such as child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, division of community property assets and debts, insurance, taxes, and attorney’s fees and costs. The court requires the Preliminary Declaration Of Disclosure from each party if a MSA is to be filed with the court. The parties can waive the Final Declaration Of Disclosure, which Mary and David have done.

Judgment of Dissolution: Because Mary and David had everything agreed-to and cooperated with each other from the very beginning, the Judgment of Dissolution, with attached MSA, can be submitted within 2-3 months of the filing of the Petition. Mary and David’s marital status is terminated six months from the date he accepted Mary’s Summons and Petition.
Some post-judgment work may be required, such as a wage assignment for child support or a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) for a retirement/pension plan.

At the conclusion of her case, Mary will have paid all of the installments for attorney’s fees and costs. Attorney Delisi will mail Mary a letter advising her of the conclusion of her case, explaining various legal issues which are relevant to her. Mary will also receive a conformed copy of her Judgment with attached MSA, a statement of fees and costs and, most likely, a check for a refund of unused funds held in trust for costs. Mary will also receive a thank you from Attorney Delisi.


Attorney Delisi focuses on your best interests and understands how vulnerable both parties may feel when dividing their lives. We will help you get through this process and focus on Uncontested Divorce cases with skill and responsibility. You will be able to move forward with your life and your interests will be covered with a binding uncontested divorce agreement.

Call our San Diego law office today for a FREE CONSULTATION.

San Diego Child Custody Attorney

Particularly in Divorce and Legal separation cases, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients involving child custody and visitation so as to either promote and pursue an Uncontested case with a comprehensive custody and visitation settlement agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement [MSA] or Stipulation For Judgment) or, if necessary, to preserve and protect custody and visitation rights in a Contested case which goes to trial.

Child Custody concerns both Legal Custody and Physical Custody (Primary Residence). Legal Custody concerns the general welfare of the minor children, such as education and health. Physical Custody concerns the location where the minor children reside. Most of the time, the parties lives in the same city. Sometimes, a Move-Away is at issue and must be addressed. Primarily, the San Diego Superior Court, having subject matter jurisdiction over the issue of minor children in Domestic cases, is concerned only with the best interests of the minor children. If the parents cannot decide these issues themselves, the court will do so. If the court is sought to decide Child Custody and Visitation, the parents are ordered to participate in mediation at Family Court Services (FCS). FCS will interview the parents, possibly others, including the minor children, depending on their age and maturity, as well as court order. FCS will prepare a written report including a recommended ‘Parenting Plan’. The court can be expected to make these recommendations an order of the court subject, however, to argument from parents and/or their counsel and evidence admitted into the record.

Since 1980, San Diego Child Custody and Visitation Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Domestic cases involving child custody and visitation with an emphasis on settlement, particularly since 80% of Divorce cases settle and avoid trial. Comprehensive settlement agreements, either Marital Settlement Agreements or Stipulations For Judgment, are strongly encouraged by San Diego Child Custody and Visitation Lawyer John A. Delisi. It is particularly noteworthy that a contested case can take more than a year and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and costs to litigate and yet settle in the courthouse hallway the day of trial. San Diego Child Custody and Visitation Attorney John A. Delisi encourages settlement when settlement is, in all likelihood, within reach, just below the surface, and the alternative can be so destructive.

Since 1980, San Diego Child Custody and Visitation Attorney John A. Delisi has also represented Grandparents to pursue child custody and visitation of their minor grandchildren. When parents of minor children fail to properly care for and raise their children, grandparents are empowered by law to step forward and apply to the Superior Court to seek to take care of and have custody of their minor grandchildren.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.
 

San Diego Adoption Attorney

Attorney John A. Delisi based in San Diego has represented hundreds of clients in matters involving the preparation of adoption petitions. Typically, our law office is called upon to prepare petitions for step-parent adoptions, adult adoptions, and independent adoptions.

A home study is performed to ensure the adoption is in the child’s best interests. As a result, adoptions typically take as much as a full year to complete. In some cases, even longer.

The Law Office of John A. Delisi provides our clients with aggressive and experienced legal representation for all our adoption case clients.

Call us today for your FREE CONSULTATION
 

San Diego Child Support Attorney

Particularly in Divorce and Legal separation cases, San Diego Child Support Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients involving child support so as to either promote and pursue an Uncontested case with a comprehensive child support settlement agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement [MSA] or Stipulation For Judgment) or, if necessary, to preserve and protect child support rights in a Contested case which goes to trial.

Since 1980, San Diego Child Support Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Domestic cases involving child support with an emphasis on settlement, particularly since 80% of Divorce cases settle and avoid trial. Comprehensive settlement agreements, either Marital Settlement Agreements or Stipulations For Judgment, are strongly encouraged by San Diego Child Support Lawyer John A. Delisi. With a ‘Guideline’ Child Support formula, the parties should pursue a settlement of Child Support. It is particularly noteworthy that a contested case can take more than a year and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and costs to litigate and yet settle in the courthouse hallway the day of trial. San Diego Child Support Attorney John A. Delisi encourages settlement when settlement is, in all likelihood, within reach, just below the surface, and the alternative can be so destructive.

Since 1980, San Diego Child Support Attorney John A. Delisi, in representing Grandparents to pursue child custody and visitation of their minor grandchildren, has represented Grandparents regarding Child Support.

Since 1980, San Diego Child Support Lawyer John A. Delisi has also represented parents in actions involving the San Diego County Department of Child Support Services (SDCDCSS), which acts to seek and enforce Child Support obligations.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.
 

San Diego Paternity Lawyer

Since 1980, San Diego Paternity Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients throughout California in domestic cases involving paternity of minor children. Typically, paternity issues arise between unmarried parties. Either parent may file the Petition To Establish Parental Relationship and it is usually accompanied by an Order To Show Cause (request for a hearing). At the hearing, if a Prima Facie case has been made by Petitioner, DNA testing will likely be ordered by the court. If test results indicate a high probability of Paternity (such as 99%), the court can be expected to make orders of custody, visitation, and child support. As in any case involving Child Custody and Visitation, in the absence of an agreement, the parents will be ordered to Family Court Services (FCS) for mediation. FCS will then prepare a written report which will include a recommendation for a ‘Parenting Plan’.

Attorney John A. Delisi has represented mothers and fathers in paternity cases, and always provides his clients with experienced and aggressive legal representation.

We provide FREE INITIAL CONSULTATIONS. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.
 

San Diego Property Division Attorney

Particularly in Divorce and Legal separation cases, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients so as to either promote and pursue an Uncontested case with a comprehensive property settlement agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement [MSA] or Stipulation For Judgment) or, if necessary, to preserve and protect property rights in a Contested case which goes to trial. In either case, the parties are required to make formal disclosures of their assets and debts and income and expenses. If the parties are satisfied with their Preliminary Disclosures, they can waive the Final Disclosure. The settlement of cases is facilitated by the complete and truthful disclosures of assets and debts and income and expenses. Various tools are available to a party whose spouse tries to take action intended to frustrate the disclosure process. Such tools include depositions, subpoenas, interrogatories, and requests for admissions.

Since 1980, San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Domestic cases involving property division with an emphasis on settlement, particularly since 80% of Divorce cases settle and avoid trial. Comprehensive settlement agreements, either Marital Settlement Agreements or Stipulations For Judgment, are strongly encouraged by San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi. It is particularly noteworthy that a contested case can take more than a year and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and costs to litigate and yet settle in the courthouse hallway the day of trial. San Diego Family Law Attorney John A. Delisi encourages settlement when settlement is, in all likelihood, within reach, just below the surface, and the alternative can be so destructive.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.
 

San Diego Spousal Support Attorney

Particularly in Divorce and Legal separation cases, San Diego Spousal Support Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients involving Spousal Support (Alimony) so as to either promote and pursue an Uncontested case with a comprehensive Spousal Support settlement agreement (Marital Settlement Agreement [MSA] or Stipulation For Judgment) or, if necessary, to preserve and protect Spousal Support rights in a Contested case which goes to trial.

California law considers marriages of less than 10 years duration to be ‘short-term’. If spousal support is an issue, in the absence of an agreement, the parties might expect Spousal Support to be ordered, if at all, for no longer than one-half the length the marriage. If the marriage exceeds 10 years duration, and in the absence of an agreement, Spousal Support might be ordered, if at all, ‘until further order of the court’. California law requires the parties in a Divorce or Legal Separation to be ‘self-supporting within a reasonable period of time’.

Since 1980, San Diego Spousal Support Attorney John A. Delisi has represented clients in Domestic cases involving spousal support with an emphasis on settlement, particularly since 80% of Divorce cases settle and avoid trial. Comprehensive settlement agreements, either Marital Settlement Agreements or Stipulations For Judgment, are strongly encouraged by San Diego Spousal Support Lawyer John A. Delisi. It is particularly noteworthy that a contested case can take more than a year and thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees and costs to litigate and yet settle in the courthouse hallway the day of trial. San Diego Spousal Support Attorney John A. Delisi encourages settlement when settlement is, in all likelihood, within reach, just below the surface, and the alternative can be so destructive.

San Diego Attorney John A. Delisi will provide clients with aggressive and competent legal representation.
 

Fees

Hourly and flat fee agreements are available for all family law matters.

  • Hourly fees are customarily charged in contested cases or cases which require extensive time to negotiate a settlement agreement. 
     
  • Flat fees are customarily offered when the case is uncontested and the client presents the terms of the settlement to John A. Delisi. 

Mr. Delisi believes reasonable fees are in the best interests of both client and attorney. Call him today to get started.


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