California Sample Forms of Statements of Decision and
Tentative Decisions In Contested Divorce and Family Law Cases
Here are sample PDF forms of "statements of decision" that were used by some Los Angeles Superior Court judges as recently as 2008, for use in some form of a contested hearing, trial or bifurcated trial, or other evidentiary hearing. You should update and research the cases they cite before relying upon them, to make sure they remain good statements of the law, but since statements of decision can be challenging to draft these provide templates as a starting place if you are asked to draft one by your bench officer. LOL, maybe I can come back and update them myself in the future!
By the way, reviewing these forms are a really useful exercise - whether you are an attorney or a self-represented party - because they give you a frame of reference of what the family court bench officer needs to assess, and can therefore help you to present the evidence that is necessary to succeed in your marital dissolution or family law case.
In the meantime, please use them at your own risk - and remember, our website provides an educational service and we cannot give you legal advice if you are not actual clients of the Palm Springs Law Offices of Thurman W. Arnold!
This statement of decision exemplar is 32 pages and covers all the evidence and findings that are required in the typical child custody case.
This move-away sample statement is an exemplar that is 11 pages long, and covers the findings that are commonly required in the typical relocation context - however, this is one you will likely want to update by reviewing the reported appellate decisions subsequent to 2008 (some of which we've blogged!)
This is a 23 page statement of decision template, which likely needs less attention to updates (your risk, not ours!) and may give you some creative ideas about how to present your contested child support case at trial or a bifurcated proceeding.
This attorney fee findings (statement of decision) is 13 pages. The Family Code has been updated in some important particulars, which we blogged a couples back in our review of the "Elkins" changes. It is a good start, and can be cleaned up and brought current with a little effort.
This is an amazing sample statement of decision on judgment spousal support, and if you find this useful then the quid pro quo we ask is that you go to our Blog and click one of the pages that seeks your support of our efforts, through social media, blah blah, etc.!
This is a 44 page template for the Court to use in dividing marital property and separate property. It is a gem. Please see the comment to the preceding document!