Navigating Your Local Court

Navigating Your Local Court

You may have had to go to court for jury duty and thought nothing of it. However, when you go to court for your own personal reasons, it can be overwhelming and intimidating. You may wonder, where do I even begin? How do I know which court I need to go to or file a divorce in? If you go through a divorce, the breakdown of your marriage can be stressful enough. It can cloud your ability to sort through the small details of court. At Family Law Advocacy Group, we understand your anxiety. That is why we have broken down things you need to know about your local court and what to expect.

Where Do I File?

The first thing you will need to know when getting a divorce or settling custody matters is where you should file your paperwork. Usually, the court where you filed your marriage paperwork handles the dissolution of the union. However, in case you moved to California after, you need to be a resident in the area for at least 6 months in order for the court to process your paperwork. In San Bernardino County, three main courthouses deal with family law issues.

The court locations include:

San Bernardino District

351 North Arrowhead Avenue
San Bernardino, Ca 92415
Telephone: (919) 521-3180
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 4pm.

Victorville District

14455 Civic Drive
Victorville, CA 92392
Telephone: (760) 269-4795
Hours of Operation: Monday through Friday, 7:30am to 4pm.

Joshua Tree District

6527 White Feather Road
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Telephone: (760) 974-3039

Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm.

Steps to Take for Your Divorce

When filing for a divorce, there are certain things you need to know and certain forms you need to fill out. The Superior Court of California in the San Bernardino County has specific paperwork you need to fill out before you file for divorce. Once that is done, you can continue the process.

A rough outline of a divorce proceeding looks like:

  1. Fill out divorce forms
  2. File forms at the appropriate court
  3. Serve the respondent
  4. File the proof of service
  5. Wait for respondent to respond
  6. Go to court for judgement

Once these general steps are taken, you can acquire your divorce.

Some things to note:

  • One of the spouses must live in the San Bernardino Country for at least 3 months, and in California for at least 6 months.
  • Residency decides which courthouse you would file paperwork in.
  • You are not automatically granted a divorce six months after a divorce. A judge must confirm it.

Court Officials to Know

One of the things that often is overlooked by new court goers is researching the judges and commissioners. Who presides over your case determines the outcome. That is why it important to get a sense of who they are as a person. Here are the judges and commissioners to know for San Bernardino County.

Joshua Tree:

  • Commissioner James Bruce Minton

San Bernardino District:

  • Commissioner Michael Gassner
  • Judge David Williams
  • Judge Teresa Bennett
  • Judge Tara Reilly
  • Judge Michael Knish
  • Judge Arthur Harrison
  • Commissioner Michael Torchia
  • Commissioner Deborah Daniels
  • Judge Brian Saunders


  • Judge Khymberli Apaloo
  • Judge Stephen Singley
  • Commissioner Michael Bishay

At Family Law Advocacy Group, we understand how complicated divorce proceedings can be, especially when children are involved. That is why we recommend hiring a family law attorney to represent you. At our law firm, we have a board certified family law specialist. He has extensive experience working with the San Bernardino County courts. He knows the judges and can effectively present your interests. If you are going through a divorce, contact our family law Attorney today for a free consultation!



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