Most legal professionals recommend that divorcing couples exhaust all other options before hiring an attorney. In fact, all in-state couples who have decided to separate should research how to divorce in California without a lawyer. Ultimately, this research could save you thousands of dollars and a lot of stress.

What Types of Divorces Do Not Require Attorneys?

Couples who agree on all matters including finances, child, and spousal support are said to be in an “uncontested divorce“. On the other hand, couples in contested divorces have different opinions on such matters. As a result, spouses in contested divorces file responses to original petitions. Ultimately, the couple relies on a judge to make the final decisions.

While uncontested divorces are simpler to finalize without a lawyer, there are further options for contested divorces. For example, mediation is an effective and inexpensive way to solve issues in a contested divorce. Sometimes, mediation enables the couple to reach an agreement by presenting new perspectives.

That said, couples involved in a contested divorce will most likely want to hire an attorney if they are unable to settle their disagreements. Therefore, we always recommend couples attempt to reconcile their differing opinions in order to save money on attorneys fees. When it comes to divorce, compromise could save you thousands of dollars.

How to Divorce in California Without a Lawyer

Those involved in both uncontested and contested divorces could use a registered legal document assistant (LDA) such as A People’s Choice for help writing and filing documents. For example, LDA family law services usually include help with petitions for divorces, responses to petitions, and documents required for other types of separation, such as annulment.

That said, LDAs can easily provide couples in uncontested divorces with comprehensive guidance through the entire divorce process. In other words, it’s easy to divorce without an attorney in California when you enlist A People’s Choice!

If you’re interested in learning how to divorce in California without a lawyer, check out our step-by-step guide below.

What our Clients Say...
“Lightning fast response, I had my very simple document on the same day as my order for the very fair and reasonable price of $325 (including the rush fee!) compared to my attorney who quoted me 3 weeks and $2500. I will definitely use these folks again and highly recommend them!”
L. Carnes
“I can’t say enough about the level of service and professionalism I received working with A People’s Choice. Emails were always responded to quickly and thoughtfully. They really care about the process and helping you get the best result with no up-selling. The process played out according to plan, and I ended up saving a lot of money by going with A People’s Choice over an attorney.”
M. Rice
“Want to personally thank the staff at A People’s Choice for making my divorce process so simple and painless. From my 1st contact in the office, they were was warm and friendly and took the time to explain each step in a very simple and quick manner. Filing for a divorce can be a difficult and painful process and the staff was extremely professional and clear in all guidance and explanations. I highly recommend A People’s Choice.”
C. Hannon
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L. Bayer
“So glad I found this company to handle my divorce. They were very professional and detail oriented, answering all of my (many) questions and kept me informed. They handled everything for me from hundreds of miles away and made it pretty seamless. The pricing was in the exact range we were looking for. Very honest company and great to work with!”
Jessica J.
“I would just like to comment on what a great job A People’s Choice did with my divorce. I could not be happier. They let me know how they keep the cost down by communicating through email. I also appreciated how when I had a question they got back with me in the day or in the evening. APeoples Choice is a good deal for the consumer.”
R. Leyva
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“A People’s Choice saved me time, money & hardship. The people are professional and a pleasure to work with, I totally recommend them to everyone! I will used them for all my legal documents in the future. Thank you!”
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Extremely satisfied with the performance of A People’s Choice. The communication was excellent and all was handled in a timely efficient manner.
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Made the process so easy for me. Also VERY prompt replies through email. So glad I used their services.
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My wife and I needed to have papers filed in court but found traditional lawyers were quite expensive. A People’s Choice did a professional job completing our paperwork and I might say, at a very reasonable price. You can bet I will contact A People’s Choice again if or when the need arises.
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The service provided by A People’s Choice was very professional and comprehensive. We have used A People’s Choice on a previous occasion and were completely satisfied. We would highly recommend A People’s Choice to anyone!
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Tar
“I used A People’s Choice to complete custody paperwork. No disappointment here. The service was easy and painless. It might have been nice to have a discussion by phone, but it was still quite easy and quick via email. Overall, the process was simple and I would use A People’s Choice again.”
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“Divorce is usually never pleasant but A People’s Choice made it much easier than it would have been if we tried to do the divorce paperwork on our own. They were very quick to respond to us and always took the time to answer all of our questions thoroughly, in addition to quickly. I would highly recommend them for handling divorce paperwork.”
Susan Z.
“This company is excellent! They helped me get through all of my paperwork, submitted it to the court, and now everything is complete. Everything was clear and almost too easy. I saved thousands of dollars!”
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“Very professional, excellent follow up and easy to work with. I will recommend them often! The staff rocks!”
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“I had the opportunity to use A People’s Choice again, Wow doesn’t say enough for the way the staff was able to get me in and out and all my answers answered. Very P-professional, organized and Friendly. I highly recommend!”
Debbie E.
I’ve worked with A People’s Choice since September 2013.  They are very knowledgeable and experienced.  Their work is done professionally and timely.  They show a real concern for my situation.  I recommend you give them the opportunity to be of service to you.”
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“A People’s Choice is awesome! They made the legal documentation process painless. I highly recommend A People’s Choice. The name says it all.”
Eric J.
“I was very happy with the service received. They were extremely responsive by phone and email and completed the document in less than 24 hours! All questions were answered promptly. I would highly recommend this service to anyone needing a legal document prepared!”
M.D.
“A People’s Choice offers a very professional, low cost service for all sorts of legal paperwork, from living trusts to divorce, bankruptcy and everything in between. If you know what you want to do and don’t need legal advice, I strongly recommend calling this company. You won’t be disappointed and will save lots of money!”
Kathryn R.
“I used A People’s Choice for filing divorce paperwork for an uncontested divorce. The price was very affordable and fair. Excellent service throughout. Not being able to call and talk on the phone worried me at first but they responded to every email extremely quickly. Directions were very easy to understand. Will definitely use them again if I need.
Frank M.
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Les A.
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Linda F.
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Sharon B.

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…or continue reading the article below to learn more about getting a divorce without a lawyer.

How to Divorce in California Without an Attorney With A People’s Choice

Using a divorce document preparer or divorce preparation service is the easiest and fastest way to complete an uncontested divorce in California. Plus, A People’s Choice has been preparing California divorce documents for over 40 years. Here’s how we have successfully helped thousands of couples navigate the California divorce process:

Step 1: Prepare and File Your Initial Petition

When you work with A People’s Choice, we help you prepare and file your initial petition for divorce with the court. More specifically, this petition consists of Summons FL-110, a Petition FL-100, and any other local forms required by your county court. Filing the initial petition with the court provides the clerk an opportunity to assign a case number. Note that this step will require a filing fee.

Step 2: Serve Your Spouse

Once you’ve filed the summons, petition, and any other required documents with the court, you will be responsible for ensuring your spouse is served the divorce papers. More specifically, a process server or friend may serve your spouse. Otherwise, your spouse may voluntarily accept service by signing an acknowledgement of receipt.

Regardless of how you go about serving your spouse, A People’s Choice can help you complete and file the required form, Proof of Service FL-115. Legally speaking, the date and time of service determines the earliest date of termination of the marriage. Therefore, this form is important for proper documentation of this information.

Step 3: Exchange Financial Information

The state of California requires that divorcing couples exchange a detailed list of all community and personal property and debt. Believe it or not, even in a completely uncontested divorce, California couples must exchange this information in at least one preliminary meeting within 60 days of service. Luckily, A People’s Choice can help you understand and locate the documents necessary to provide this information.

Step 4: Sign a Marital Settlement Agreement

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of working with A People’s Choice is getting help with your marital settlement agreement. A marital settlement agreement is a legal document in which divorcing spouses outline all agreed-upon issues, including:

While some couples in an uncontested divorce may have an easy time deciding upon these factors, communicating them in writing with professional, legal language is not always simple. As a result, most legal professionals do not recommend that divorcing couples use fill-in-the-blank “DIY” marital settlement agreements.

Unfortunately, many of the free or downloadable “sample” agreements you find online do not fit the needs of every couple. Plus, when you work with A People’s Choice, we begin drafting your marital settlement agreement upon filing the petition for divorce. Oftentimes, couples benefit from having this list of necessary legal concerns before they attempt to discuss them.

Furthermore, it’s important to recognize that a marital settlement agreement must have detailed descriptions of each party’s responsibilities after marriage dissolution. Also, the document must be tailored to the county in which the couple is divorcing. Therefore, working with a legal document assistant is a great way to ensure your marital settlement agreement has all necessary provisions before filing it with the court.

Step 5: Request to Enter Default

Parties involved in an uncontested divorce may request to enter default 30 days following the date of service. This request allows the divorce process to continue without the other party paying an extra fee for filing a response.

Step 6: Complete and Submit Your Final Judgment

After finalizing the marital settlement agreement, parties attach the document to the final judgment and submit it as a court order. A People’s Choice’s family law services offer extensive assistance with all the documents necessary to submit a final judgment.

As long as the parties submit these documents, the marriage will officially terminate six months and one day following the date of service. Upon this marital termination date, both individuals are legally free to remarry.

A People’s Choice Provides Flat-Fee, Tailored Services

Couples wondering how to divorce in California without a lawyer should consider working with a registered legal document assistant. In particular, A People’s Choice provides flat-fee services tailored to your specific needs. For example, our full service prices include assistance with case management and filing documents with the court. On the other hand, our NEW “documents only” services are a wonderful budget option for who only need help filling out legal forms.

From filing the initial petition to the final judgment of dissolution, A People’s Choice is here for whatever you need. 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, or use our Quick Start Interview to begin the process ASAP!

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A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney!

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