Where To File For Divorce In California – Divorce sounds scary and ominous. Although the breakup of a marriage can be a relief, divorce is still scary. An uncertain future, complicated forms full of legalese, arguing back and forth with your spouse and appearing in court, all of it is daunting. But it doesn’t have to be. Come with us as we break down the steps to get a divorce in California.
Before you can file for divorce in California, you need to figure out where to file. One party, whether you or your spouse, must have lived in the country for at least the last six months.
Where To File For Divorce In California
At the district level, one of you must also live in a particular district for at least three months.
The 6 Steps In The California Divorce Process
If you and your soon-to-be ex still live in the same place, this probably won’t be a problem. However, if you are moving out of a joint marital home and moving from Orange County to San Diego County, for example, you must be settled for a minimum period of time before you can file.
California has a six-month waiting period for all divorces. This is the minimum time to complete the divorce. It is possible to agree and confirm documents earlier.
California, like most other states, practices no-fault divorce. This means that neither spouse is officially to blame for the end of the marriage.
It is possible for one spouse to initiate things, go through the legal process and final divorce, even if the other spouse refuses to cooperate or cooperate.
California Divorce Laws
If the spouse refuses to cooperate, the case goes to trial and ends with a default judgment.
The person who first files divorce papers with the court is called the plaintiff. The applicant must fill out special forms and file them with the clerk. Depending on your situation, the forms differ. [See the list at the bottom of this post for some common basic divorce forms.]
The reasons for ending a marriage are often complex and painful, but as far as the method goes, the first steps to divorce involve filling out some paperwork and paying a fee.
In California, the first step in getting a divorce revolves around filing a summons, petition for divorce, and related forms.
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You pay a fee to the court clerk when you file. It may be in your best interest to have a divorce attorney review your paperwork first to make sure you have filled everything out correctly.
FL-100 – This is the form to start divorce proceedings. As the applicant, you provide all relevant information about your marriage, including children, dates and assets.
Once you’ve completed and filed the appropriate forms with the appropriate county—the one where you live, not the one where you were married—the next step in the divorce process is to serve your spouse.
In this step of the divorce, provide your spouse with documents and state your intentions. It basically tells them, officially and legally, that you have filed for divorce.
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You cannot serve divorce papers in person. An external person over the age of 18 must serve the summons and the initiative.
This can be anyone it suits, but in most cases, using a registered process server is in your best interest.
FL-115 – Proof of Service of Subpoena allows you to tell the court that you notified your spouse.
Once you serve your spouse or receive service yourself, the defendant has 30 days to file an answer.
After Divorce Papers Are Served
This is in the form of a formal response to the divorce petition and indicates that the other party intends to participate in the divorce proceedings.
During this step to divorce, both parties complete a disclosure statement and share all relevant information.
The state of California, being community property, considers all assets acquired during a marriage to belong equally to both spouses. This doesn’t mean splitting everything down the middle. The court divides the assets in a way that ensures that both parties maintain a lifestyle that is roughly the same as the one they experienced during the marriage. That’s the goal anyway.
The official unveiling follows the disclosure statement. What this looks like depends largely on the specifics of your case. It may include interrogatories, written questions from spouse to spouse, or requests for documents.
Divorce In California
Admission requests take the form of written questions that ask one party to verify or deny certain information. Customers can even conduct testimonials or live Q&A sessions.
During the marriage, lives become intimately entangled. Divorce is meant to resolve them, but the process takes time. In this situation, the question of what to do at this time often arises.
This is the step to divorce where you ask for temporary child custody, child support, spousal support orders and more.
If one of the spouses wants immediate orders before the divorce is finalized, they can file a request. By filing an Order to Show Cause, the court calls a hearing to decide pressing issues that need to be resolved sooner rather than later.
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There is no strict divorce step where you have to apply for an order. You can submit them at the beginning of the process, when you start dealing. In other cases, it may make sense to deal with it later. As with many things, this depends on the specific needs of your case.
If you and your spouse are on the same page, the divorce can go relatively smoothly. Especially in shorter marriages, without children and those without a lot of common property to share. In amicable divorces, agreeing on the details can be a relatively simple and easy step to divorce.
There are three ways to reach a judgment and finalize a divorce: settlement, delay, or trial. Which path you choose depends on whether your spouse responds and whether you can reach an agreement.
A settlement occurs when both parties agree on the terms of the divorce. This avoids the need for mediation, trial or other litigation.
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By default, it occurs when your spouse does not respond to the initial service. When the other party defaults, the case goes to trial, where a judgment is issued and the divorce becomes final. It’s a longer process with more steps, but that’s the point.
A trial may be necessary if you and your ex cannot come to an agreement on your own or through mediation. To sort out property division, custody arrangements, parenting plans, and all the other details of the divorce agreement, you may need to go before a judge and state your case.
The court may order a mandatory settlement conference where both parties meet to resolve the case. If both parties can agree, it is possible to enter into a settlement agreement. In these cases, there are no further steps for divorce.
And when the appropriate people sign and submit the appropriate forms, the divorce becomes final six months after service.
How To Obtain A Divorce Certificate In California
If you can’t reach a full settlement, the case goes to trial. Both sides present testimony, evidence and even witnesses and defend their position in court. Finally, the judge decides on any disputed issues. Once the judgment is passed, after the waiting period, your divorce becomes official.
Signing and filing the final documents is just as it sounds. One of the final steps to divorce is for you and your soon-to-be ex to fill out and submit a series of forms.
This includes agreements you have reached about property and debt division, child custody, child and spousal support, and any other topics.
When you reach a final divorce agreement—you can do it yourself, with the help of a lawyer, or through mediation or a trial—the court reviews the papers, makes sure you have everything in order, and signs off.
California Divorce Form Fl 115
Once you complete this divorce step and are at least six months from the original date of service, the divorce becomes official.
Because each situation has its own unique circumstances, the steps involved in divorce vary from case to case. Without a strict formula, each scenario plays out in its own way, but hopefully this will give you a rough idea of what to expect.
The more conflicts there are, the more you and your spouse argue, the more complicated the divorce process becomes. Children, high-value assets, pensions and countless other factors disturb the water.
Even if you choose the do-it-yourself approach, it may be necessary to have an attorney review the forms before you file them. This ensures that you have filled out everything you need to and taken all the appropriate steps for your divorce.
California Divorce Court Process — Jennifer Taylor Cpa Cdfa
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