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Best Divorce Dictionary (TM)
Explaining the language of the divorce process
  • RFO
    Definition:  RFO is short for Request for Order.   This hearing is used to establish interim orders pending a full...
  • Jurisdiction
    Jurisdiction is a very complicated legal issue.  The concept of jurisdiction is taught over the course of year during the first year of...
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Order
    Qualified Domestic Relations Order is also known as a QDRO. QDRO’s are required to divide and transfer monies from one...
  • Putative Marriage
    Putative Marriage is a marriage entered into in good faith and in ignorance (on one or both sides) which is...
  • QDRO
    QDRO stands for Qualified Domestic Relations Order. QDRO’s are required to divide and transfer monies from one retirement plan to...
  • Nullity
    Nullity is more commonly known as an annulment. Legally this erases the marriage. However, in California a Nullity must be...
  • Bifurcation
    Bifurcation (also known as Bifurcated Divorce and Divisible Divorce in jurisdictions other than California) is the entry of a Judgment...
  • FLC
    FLC is short for Family Law Code in California.  California’s Family Law Code contains all of the statues pertaining to...
  • Contempt
    Contempt is a method of enforcing a prior court order which is being disobeyed. In Family Law, this should rarely,...
  • Summons
    Summons is the first pleading filed in any Civil Case. It is in essence calling or “summoning” the other parties...
Sullivan Law Firm, APC


The philosophy of The Sullivan Law Firm is to counsel clients in finding common sense solutions to complex legal issues. We do this for our clients by providing a full spectrum of legal services, including alternative dispute resolution and court room litigation. Call us today at (858) 451-9390 to book your initial consultation.

Attorney Michelle Sullivan, CLS-F
, is a family law specialist, specializing in counseling clients regarding divorce, divorce mediation, collaborative divorce, adoptions, prenuptial agreements, and other legal issues. She has been practicing family law for over 25 years and has extensive experience as a mediator in the conference room, and a litigator in the courtroom. Our family law practice especially caters to residents of San Diego and North County, and our offices work in and are familiar with the rules of court for all of the court branches within San Diego County, including Central Courthouse, Family Law Courthouse, Madge Bradley Courthouse, East County Regional Center Courthouse in El Cajon, North County Regional Center Courthouse in Vista, and the South County Regional Center Courthouse in Chula Vista. She is available by telephone at (858) 451-9390.


See testimonials on LinkedIn


Location and Office Hours



The Sullivan Law Firm, APC, is located in the Rancho Bernardo neighborhood of San Diego, California. We are conveniently located off Interstate 15 between North County and downtown San Diego.

We are located in the the Wells Fargo Advisors Building at 11545 W. Bernardo Court, Suite 211, San Diego, CA 92127. If you have any questions or would like more information or directions, please feel free to contact our offices at (858) 451-9390.

Our offices are open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, and on Friday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.




Our San Diego divorce attorneys represent clients from all communities of San Diego, including North County, East County, South Bay, Balboa Park, Barrio Logan, East Village, Golden Hill, Allied Gardens, Alpine, Borrego Springs, Campo, Del Cerro, El Cajon, Grantville, Grossmont, Julian, Kearny Mesa, La Mesa, Lakeside, Lemon Grove, Mission Valley, Mount Helix, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, San Carlos, Santee, Serra Mesa, City Heights, College Area, Kensington, Talmadge, Bay Park, Cardiff, Carlsbad, Carmel Valley, Clairemont Mesa, Del Mar, Encinitas, Escondido, La Costa, La Jolla, Leucadia, Mission Beach, Oceanside, Olivenhain, Pacific Beach, Poway, Rancho Santa Fe, Solana Beach, Sorrento Mesa, Torrey Pines, University City, Bonsall, Carmel Mountain, Fallbrook, Mira Mesa, Miramar, Pauma Valley, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Penasquitos, San Marcos, Sorrento Valley, Valley Center, Vista, Bonita, Chula Vista, Coronado, Imperial Beach, National City, Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, Bankers Hill, Hillcrest, Linda Vista, Midway District, Mission Hills, North Park, Ocean Beach, Old Town, Point Loma, Scripps Ranch, and University Heights.

Client Testimonial

“Michelle Sullivan has been my family law attorney for the last 18 years. Michelle has handled both pre- and post-judgement issues for me. She aggressively advocates my position while providing cogent, incisive advice and counsel. Michelle has detailed knowledge of military family law issues and can translate and apply that knowledge to California family law. Honest and realistic in her evaluation of the situation, Michelle always provides you with the pertinent information so that you can make a fully informed decision on how to proceed with your case. Highly recommended for any family law case dealing with military issues. Michelle and her firm are my 'turn to' attorneys.”

-M.J., San Diego, CA

"Over the last couple of years, continuing child custody issues have required the services of attorneys on numerous occasions.  While we have been generally satisfied with the representation we have received, we have always thought the industry could use improvements in general office organization and client service.  What a wonderful difference we have seen in your office and practice!  Your office is well organized and a great example of efficiency and excellent client service."

- K.K.,  San Diego, CA

“Thank you so much for holding our hands through this adoption process.  We are lucky that we had such a skilled team to help us win such a rough case.  The adoption day went wonderful and we can start anew! Thank you for everything!”

- L.K., San Diego, CA

"I would strongly recommend mediation in general to all parties beginning the divorce process, and would recommend Michelle Sullivan specifically to all who are in the greater San Diego area.  She not only saved us tens of thousands in legal fees over a traditional divorce, she kept us from becoming adversaries.

As my husband of two decades and I accepted that our marriage was inevitably ending, we agreed that for the sake of the children, and our remaining assets, we did not want the typically contentious process often created by hiring two opposing attorneys.  We realized, however, that as a couple whose greatest struggles had revolved around spending decisions, communication and decision-making processes, we were perhaps not excellent candidates for mediation.

Despite our well-established patterns of bickering and jockeying for control in these most important of areas, Michelle Sullivan has done a wonderful job keeping us focused on our long term goals and helping us compromise.  She has alternately corrected and supported each of us as was necessary, and has proved herself a skilled negotiator and a woman of compassion. Even more importantly, Michelle's involvement kept us operating as a team throughout the settlement process.  This allowed us to continue to co-parent effectively as well... a reality I cannot imagine would have been the case had we each hired our own attorney. We are grateful."

- N.S., San Diego, CA