California is known for being a pricey place to live. It’s natural to assume that this extends to the price of divorce too. But luckily, it is sometimes possible to get a cheap divorce and annulment of marriage in California. It all depends on the type of divorce and divorce option you want to use.
If you want to get a cheap divorce in California, you’ve come to the right place. Depending on the type of divorce, such as uncontested divorces and no-fault divorce, the process can be comparatively simple. Even if minor children are involved, if you have an amicable divorce, there’s no reason why your divorce can’t go fairly smoothly. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best cheap divorce options in the Golden State along with some popular misconceptions.
Resources for a Cheap Divorce in California
The county clerk’s office doesn’t offer legal services, but it does provide a divorce packet
for couples who want to file for divorce without a divorce lawyer. This is the least expensive way to file and encompasses the type of divorce that allows for the easiest divorce route.
Several state-specific self-help divorce books are written for couples who want legal advice on “DIY” quick divorce. For example, Nolo Press’ “How to Do Your Own Divorce in California” is an especially helpful book and only costs about $20! In fact, most DIY divorce books from online divorce services
provide the divorce paperwork, legal assistance, and guides for working out a settlement in the divorce procedure. They’ll walk you through nuances of online divorce, residency requirements uncontested divorce forms, and more. However, such books aren’t without their drawbacks, as we’ll discuss in a moment.
Is A DIY, Cheap Divorce Possible for Me?
Depending on the type of divorce and whether there are minor children involved, a cheap divorce can be possible. It is important to note that agreement has to be reached on various issues for the spousal divorce process to be cheap and quick. Agreements about separation, custody, parenting plans, division of debt from credit cards or loans (if any), marital property, settlement, and all other basic aspects must be documented in the agreement form to make for a cheap, quick, and stress-free divorce process.
Also note that basic requirements, including residency requirements, must be met for an online divorce or a divorce filed in person. Filing fees also must be paid unless you qualify for aid. Here are a few further resources from A People’s Choice on some cheap divorce options:
- Uncontested divorces
- No-Fault divorce
- Simple divorce
- Amicable divorce
The Difficulties of DIY Divorce
Not every self-help divorce solution is ideal. Here are some thoughts to consider if you’re planning a DIY divorce.
Are You Aware of Divorce Details in California?
Although a DIY divorce option may be the cheapest option to divorce in California, it’s also the most difficult for someone who is uneducated in the aspect of divorce. This difficulty, plus the stress of property division, often adds to the existing stress and anxiety provoked by filing for divorce.
Do You Understand Divorce Cost and Filing Responsibilities?
Although most courts offer self-help centers, they often offer little help and no legal services. Additionally, due to the multi-step California divorce process, couples finalizing their own divorce must make multiple trips to these centers at various junctions in the process.
Couples are responsible for filling out all the divorce paperwork independently. This includes the paperwork needed for the process server to complete steps such as the divorce decree, settlement agreement, minor children arrangement, and more. Your completed divorce papers are an important step in the legal process of a divorce, and mistakes
can cost you time and money.
Do You and Your Spouse Get Along?
Keep in mind that depending on the type of divorce you’re interested in, whether there are minor children involved, and how well you get along with your soon-to-be former spouse, a DIY divorce may not be a great option for you. Mutual agreement is crucial for a DIY divorce and joint petition to go smoothly, and a contested divorce generally results in more argument. California automatically provides “no-fault” divorce grounds, which makes things easier; a simple no-fault uncontested divorce is generally the most successful DIY divorce project.
Are Your Collaborative Divorce Resources Out of Date?
Owning a book that you can re-read is certainly more helpful than having to rely on notes or memory. Plus, a book is a useful tool for learning about the California divorce process in its entirety. But self-help divorce books have similar downsides to court clerk forms packages. These self-help books are published about every two years. Therefore, they often contain out-of-date form examples.
This outdated information can be confusing for those trying to match up court clerk forms with self-help book instructions. Obviously, using self-help books means you must still prepare your own divorce papers and file them with the court throughout the cheap divorce process.
Using a Legal Document Preparation Service for a Cheap Divorce
California allows professional legal document assistants or a divorce paralegal to help you with the divorce petition, divorce process, and divorce forms. This is often the best option between a total DIY divorce and hiring a pricey divorce attorney.
Legal document preparation assistants typically offer legal assistance on an hourly rate or flat-fee basis ranging from an average cost of $350 to $600. This fee covers the entire process of a complete divorce except in special circumstances. Costs usually depend upon whether the parties have child custody (especially if they are minor children) or division of property (marital property or marital assets) aspects to the divorce.
California legal document assistants are familiar with the divorce process in the county where you live. Plus, they are experienced in properly completing legal requirements required in the dissolution of marriage as well as the required court forms. A qualified legal document assistant can help you with any forms you need for marital settlement agreements, no-fault divorce filing, a divorce with children, uncontested divorce forms, and more.
Most legal document assistants also file your paperwork with the court. Therefore, you will not have to worry about which form to file, and your divorce case can quickly proceed to a final conclusion. You simply need to provide financial documents and other information needed to fill out the forms.
Hiring a legal document assistant to help you with your California cheap divorce is certainly than using an expensive divorce attorney, and will make your divorce cheap, easy, and hassle-free without costing a lot of money. The services of a legal document assistant typically include:
- providing customers with a self-help book that explains the California average divorce process;
- filling all required divorce paperwork and divorce documents from beginning to end, including a marital settlement complete agreement, online divorce papers, and online questionnaire if needed;
- monitoring the case to ensure timely progression; and
- filing the various divorce papers and documents with the court at the proper time until the final divorce judgment.
Misleading Online Divorce Services
If you are trying to tackle your own cheap divorce in California using one of the services listed above, you have to do your homework! Many misleading online divorce services offer customers the same package of legal forms they can obtain from the local court clerk’s office. However, these affordable divorce documents are often not in compliance with the court’s local rules. Plus, in some cases, these services do not even complete the documents for you!
The filing fees from these online services often seem inexpensive until an unsuspecting consumer signs up. Then, they realize the packages do not include everything they need to get the paperwork ready and finish the divorce properly. The customer is then left incurring additional court charges.
Therefore, if you are searching for a cheap divorce in California that will save you considerable time, remember to watch out for fraud. ALWAYS check out references and reviews and seek basic advice before you pay any money.
Cheap Divorce in California With A People’s Choice
Anyone looking for affordable divorce options, online divorce forms from online divorce websites, or a divorce papers service should carefully weigh the pros and cons of each choice. Should you be in need of additional assistance or have additional questions, A People’s Choice is a legitimate self-help service that can assist you in filing for a cheap, quick divorce in California without the need of a Bar Association-approved divorce attorney who charges hundreds of dollars an hour. You can keep your divorce cost down with our online divorce papers so you can move on faster and with more in your wallet.
We have helped thousands of couples get their documents ready for California divorce, taking advantage of the most affordable option. A People’s Choice has been providing self-help legal document service with excellent customer support and an unlimited customer base, paralegal service, and personal service for people for over 30 years and has established an excellent reputation in the community.
You can start your divorce proceedings through our website or call our office to schedule an in-person or over-the-phone interview. If you need easy, low-cost online divorce process options, we’re here for you with all the applicable divorce papers. Get help with your California divorce proceedings
and legal documents and filing process today!