The Code of Civil Procedure provides that cases shall be dismissed if not brought to Trial or Judgment within five years of initial filing of the Petition. Cases with active support orders are exempted. By virtue of a recent amendment, cases with active custody/visitation orders and domestic violence restraining orders are also exempted. While the better practice is to get a final
Judgment, the exception for family law cases with active support, custody, visitation or restraining orders is a valuable protection for those parties who rely on temporary orders in their family law matters and do not have a final judgment within five years of the initial filing.