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Assembly Bill 3312 (Wright-1988)

Chapter 890, Statutes of 1988

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Assembly member Cathie Wright wrote to the Governor on August 26, 1988 to request his signature on Assembly Bill 3312. In this letter, the following summary of the bill was provided:

This bill would specify that in any action for dissolution of marriage under the Family Law Act, the court may sever and grant an early and separate trial on the issue of the dissolution of the status of the marriage, apart from other issues. The bill would authorize the court to impose conditions on the grant of the severance, as specified. The bill would also require a judgment granting a dissolution of the status of the marriage to expressly reserve jurisdiction for later determination of all other pending issues.

This bill is sponsored by the Bar Association of San Francisco and the Conference of Delegates of the State Bar of California. It is necessary to provide uniformity in the law, and to preserve the property rights of the parties to a dissolution, while allowing early dissolution of the status of the marriage so that the parties can continue on with their lives.
(See Exhibit #11, document PE-2)

The background information and the need for the legislation is set forth in the analysis of Assembly Bill 3312 as amended on March 24, 1988 prepared for the Assembly Committee on Judiciary. (See Exhibit #3a) The analysis contains the following comment attributed to the sponsor of the measure, the State Bar of California:

Case law provides persuasive authority for the court to grant a bifurcation of the partiesĺ marital status prior to a resolution of any other pending issues. Currently, motions for such relief are made pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure Section 1048(b) which does
not address any problems and concerns which often arise only in family law courts when such orders are requested. This bill expressly embodies case law precedent on the benefits of this
procedure and, while doing so, provides a remedy for the most frequently voiced objections to such order in the form of the proposed conditions precedent.
(See Exhibit #3a, page 1)

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