How to Do Your Own Divorce in California: 3 Tips From A People’s Choice
1. Use a Mediator
Believe it or not, mediation is one of the most common methods of negotiating divorce settlements! Instead of making decisions for each spouse as a judge would, mediators steer healthy discussion toward a resolution. As a result, many couples prefer mediation to court litigation as it allows each party to control the outcome of the legal process. Plus, divorce mediation is often an inexpensive solution to contested divorces! In fact, California Family Court Services Mediation Programs provide budget mediation options for divorcing couples who want to avoid attorneys fees.
Therefore, if you want to do your own divorce, trying to solve legal disagreements with a mediator is a great first step. Unfortunately, couples who are unable to come to an agreement following mediation may want to consult a lawyer for proper representation in court.
2. Consult a Legal Document Assistant
Oftentimes, following successful mediation, mediators will refer parties to a legal document assistant (LDA) for help drafting a marital settlement agreement. On the other hand, those in uncontested divorces may research and select an LDA on their own. That said, be sure to select a reputable, professional company with positive testimonials. Also, remember that LDAs are not attorneys and will not provide legal advice.
When you work with an LDA such as A People’s Choice, you can be sure the documents you’re using are up to date and accepted by your local county court. Unfortunately, some couples who choose to do their own divorce try to use legal forms found online. However, unless you’re downloading these forms directly from your county court, they may be unusable! Furthermore, many of the free online forms may not be applicable to your legal situation. As a result, we always recommend working with an LDA to avoid repaying filing fees for using incorrect documents.
Luckily, A People’s Choice provides a plethora of flat-fee, customizable service options. Therefore, if you want to terminate your marriage without any filing assistance, you can use our services just to obtain the appropriate legal forms! On the other hand, if you want help with filing instructions, we can provide assistance with that as well. Plus, if you are in a marriage with no children or real property, for example, you can choose a service option tailored to your legal situation, usually for a smaller fee.
For more information about the required steps to terminate your marriage in California, check out this California Divorce Checklist.
3. Be Patient
Divorce is never easy, and doing it completely on your own can sometimes make the process even more stressful. However, staying patient and calm during your divorce and taking it step by step can be instrumental to a healthy mindset and divorce. In fact, this disposition alone could take your divorce from contested to uncontested in one conversation!
Taking the time to discuss your legal concerns with your spouse – and listen to theirs – whether on your own or with a mediator is extremely important. Without reaching a resolution, you will have an extremely difficult time doing your divorce on your own.
A People’s Choice is Here to Help
Whether you’ve already begun your DIY divorce or are simply wondering how to do your own divorce in California, consider completing our Quick Start Interview today. This tool is a completely free way to see how easy we make divorce before you even hire our services! Plus, the interview can help you collect all pertinent information, which will be helpful when it comes time to complete legal forms.
From filing your initial petition to submitting your dissolution, A People’s Choice is here to help. The combination of our 40 years experience, streamlined processes, and informational materials make the divorce process both educational and stress-free for our clients. Contact us today for more information.
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