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Gionis v. Superior Court

Court of Appeal of California
248 Cal. Rptr. 741 (1988)


Facts

Aissa Gionis (plaintiff) and Thomas Gionis (defendant) were married from 1986 until 1987, when Aissa filed for divorce, sole child custody, and spousal and child support. Thomas moved to bifurcate the determination of the marital dissolution from the remaining issues. In his petition, Thomas claimed that the marriage was a complete failure with no hope of reconciliation and that, while a determination as to whether the parties should remain married would be brief, the parties would have extensive discovery and litigation on the remaining issues. Thomas further claimed that having the determination of divorce bifurcated, and having the divorce finalized early with a divisible divorce proceeding, would allow him to move forward with his business and investment actions without having to secure Aissa's waiver and quitclaim on every transaction. Thomas further alleged that delaying a divorce decree would not encourage settlement of any of the other custody, property, and support issues. Aissa opposed the motion on procedural grounds only. The trial court denied Thomas' motion to bifurcate on the grounds that Thomas had not shown a compelling reason to bifurcate the proceedings. Thomas appealed the trial court's decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wallin, J.)

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