FLASH Self-Help Glossary
Chapter 7 Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal process to help debtors (people who owe money) get relief from the debts they cannot pay and, at the same time, help creditors (people who are owed money) get paid from whatever property or assets the debtor has that he or she does not need to live. Chapter 7 is the most common form of bankruptcy for individuals.
Child support is the amount of money that a court orders a parent or both parents to pay every month to help pay for the support of the child (or children) and the child’s living expenses.
Custody and Visitation
In California, either parent can have custody of the children, or the parents can share custody. The judge makes the final decision about custody and visitation but usually will approve the arrangement (the parenting plan) that both parents agree on.
There are 3 main ways to end a marriage or registered domestic partnership in California: divorce, legal separation, and annulment. After you decide how you want to end your marriage or domestic partnership, you need to plan your case ahead of time.
With a court order you can change your legal name on government-issued identification documents such as your driver's license, passport, and social security card.
Legal separation is an alternative to divorce for people who can’t continue to live together but do not want to end their marriage.
In parentage cases, also called “paternity cases,” the court makes orders that say who the child’s legal parents are.
Small claims court is a special court where disputes are resolved quickly and inexpensively. The rules are simple and informal.