• How to File Divorce in Los Angeles County

How to File Divorce in Los Angeles County

There are many “How to File Divorce in Los Angeles County” self-guides available online. Despite common belief, you do not need to hire an attorney to file for divorce in Los Angeles County. Most people can complete the divorce process without hiring an expensive lawyer. Surprisingly, sometimes you can finish a contested divorce case without hiring a lawyer. Divorce primarily consists of filling forms with the court and making limited appearances. The bigger question is, what is the best way to file divorce in Los Angeles County? Should you go it alone and deal with the Los Angeles County self-help center when needed? What about those cheap online services that advertise complete divorce services for $99? Would it be better to hire a legal document assistant to get you through the divorce process? These are essential questions, and we will try to discuss them in this article.

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. Of course, they can’t provide legal advice, but I was referred to an attorney when I needed some questions answered who was very reasonable and easy to get a hold of as well. 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
“I 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
“A People’s Choice helped us throughout our entire year-long probate making the process very easy and manageable while at the same time saving us thousands of dollars in lawyer’s fees. Not only were they extremely friendly and fast to respond to our questions but they made the process simple enough that we hardly ever had to contact the courthouse directly and we even had a hearing done without an appearance. Would highly recommend A People’s Choice to anyone!”
A. Vuckovich
“Thank you A People’s Choice for saving me all of the headaches when I thought I could save money and file my own divorce paperwork. The court clerks offer no assistance whatsoever with simple questions and handed me another packet to figure out on my own. Trust me, the best advice I can give you is to call A People’s Choice first. They typed up my paperwork and my divorce was final in two weeks! I am so grateful to them and I would highly recommend them to everyone.”
L. Bayer
“I’m so glad I found this company to handle my divorce. They were very professional and detail oriented. They answered all of my (many) questions and kept me informed along the way. 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. Highly recommend them to anyone!”
Jessica J.
“I would just like to comment on what a great job A Peoples Choice did with my divorce. I have just received the final judgment and could not be happier. They told me up front what the cost would be. They also 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. Thank You for your quick responses. A Peoples Choice is a good deal for the consumer.”
R. Leyva
“I just recently moved to the Ventura area and didn’t know of any companies to help me with my legal paperwork. I am glad I chose A People’s Choice. They were very friendly and helped me with my documents in a very efficient way in very little time. Give them a try and you will be writing a positive review just as I did.”
D. Buelna
“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!”
C. Lazalde
“I recently required the help of A People’s Choice, Inc. and found them to be entirely professional. Everything was done in short order yet all was explained to my satisfaction. They were friendly and courteous. I am happy and impressed.”
C. Zyobel
“Staff there were friendly, courteous and very professional. They did my Living Trust and the price was very reasonable. I am very pleased with their work and would highly recommend them.”
Anne M.
Extremely satisfied with the performance of A People’s Choice. The communication was excellent and all was handled in a timely efficient manner.
Pam T.
“I needed to create a living trust, will and end of life statement. After checking with multiple attorneys I was shocked at the pricing. I needed to find an alternative approach versus paying thousands in attorney fees. I checked out several options for of a more do it yourself approach…and found A People’s Choice. They have been in the business for years and their experience/expertise is a great asset. Second, it is very helpful to have a real person you can work with versus a call center environment. Finally their prices are fair. Overall I rate A People’s Choice as excellent…quality, speed, personal service are qualities delivered!
Bruce R.
Made the process so easy for me. Also VERY prompt replies through email. So glad I used their services.
Kristina C.
My wife and I needed to have some papers filed in court but found that traditional lawyers were quite expensive. We found the phone number for “A People’s Choice” and gave them a call, and am so happy that we did. They did a very professional job completing our paperwork and I might say, at a very reasonable price. And you can bet; I will contact A People’s Choice again if or when the need arises.
D. Hileman
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!
R. Betancourt
“A People’s Choice is extremely customer orientated and friendly.  Their service was fast and reliable. in the future, should I need their services again, I will not hesitate to call them. All e-mails were answered with either a phone call or e-mail sometimes even late at night
Tar
“Super prices, great service, I can’t say enough about this place. We had A People’s Choice help us with a trust and POA. They are the best!”
Jessica S.
“A People’s Choice helped me to complete Child Custody modification paperwork. After looking online and trying to figure out how to do it myself, I decided to search yelp for help. 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. I am pleased.”
Michael J.
“How much is peace of mind worth to you? This company of hardworking, caring individuals will help you get the job done in the quickest, most efficient way. Conveniently located. Check it out. Thank you!”
Diana K.
“We love of A People Choice. It’s legally run and professional. Everyone has to have a recommendation and license. Highly recommended.”
Christy C.
“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!”
Seth M.
“Very professional, excellent follow up and easy to work with. I will recommend them often! The staff rocks!”
Gene A.
“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 Professional, Organized and Friendly. I highly recommend!”
Debbie E.
I have 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.”
D. Echeverra
“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 is a great option to get legal documents prepared inexpensively. They offer a very professional, low cost service for all sorts of legal paperwork, from living trusts to divorce, bankruptcy and everything in between. I always received a prompt reply to my inquiries and found the legal guide they gave me extremely helpful and informative. If you know what you want to do, don’t need legal advice and just need help preparing legal paperwork, I strongly recommend calling this company. You won’t be disappointed and will save lots of money as compared to using an expensive attorney!”
Kathryn R.
“A People’s Choice prepares legal documents so you can represent yourself and still look like you know what you’re doing. I utilized their services recently and found them to be professional as well as extremely helpful. I couldn’t be happier.”
Evan J.
“A People’s Choice helped me with my QDRO. They were very professional and very honest. They saved me a lot of money by having them do all the paperwork. There was no hidden fees. I would recommend A People’s Choice for any of your needs. They are very knowledgeable in what they do. Thank you A People’s Choice for all your help!”
Debra H.
“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. There directions were very easy to understand and they had no problem explaining something multiple times if I had questions or did not fully understand the directions. Will definitely use them again for any other legal documents I might need help with in the future.”
Frank M.
“Great way to get your divorce processed without attorneys for approx. $495. There were a few small hiccups with the documents, but nothing major, which I caught when I reviewed. I am happy with their service, efficient and organized, and would recommend them for filing a divorce that is mutually settled and skip the attorneys. Note: They are not process servers, so find your own server, or if you can do it yourself and save the $$. Thanks for a job well done!”
Bud P.
“This team is efficient, professional, ethical and easy to work with. Any of my questions were responded to immediately. They did everything they could to help me. I highly recommend their services.”
Leigh A.
“Can not remember how I found A People’s Choice. I think it was through a web search. In any case I found the company and have been and am completely satisfied with the service provided. The person I worked with (Sandra) was very friendly whenever we spoke on the phone and always responded promptly to any emails. The answers were always clear. The entire process was smooth and painless. I would recommend A People’s Choice without hesitation.”
Les A.
“When I first saw all of the documents required to file I was overwhelmed at the thought of it all. I was already dealing with the stress of everything else, I did not want to deal with the courts, a mountain load of paperwork and trips to file as well. I looked around and A People’s Choice had some great reviews and a decent price. I am VERY happy that I went with A People’s Choice. They were very, very helpful, Sandy was very nice and patient with me, despite all of my questions. With her assistance she helped to make this difficult time much easier by making the tedious paperwork process very easy and it didn’t take too much time at all! I definitely recommend A People’s Choice.”
M.McCleod
“Great service. Highly professional and efficient creating legal documents. I am completely satisfied and highly recommend them to others. I am so glad I found you on the internet. People who are looking for professional legal services look no further, try A People’s Choice.”
Radtech N.
“I was overwhelmed with my divorce, custody and child support paperwork Sandy at A Peoples Choice made everything so much easier and really put my mind at ease. I couldn’t be happier with their assistance and it really made all the process speed up for me. Thank you so much for all your help.”
Samantha R.
“A People’s Choice is a business that delivers what they promise. I was treated like a VIP by their staff and Sandy was the best. As for their services, they promptly delivered all of the official documents and fillings on my behalf and their price is more than reasonable. In short, this is a business that I will always recommend and continue to use. Thank you!”
Juan B.
“I was in need of some serious help and didn’t know what to do. I had contacted a lawyer and he wanted to charge me $1800.00. Then I found A People’s Choice. They were great. They got my paper work started and at a much lower cost, and steered me, with the help of lots of paper work, in the right direction. I am very grateful for the company’s services and would recommend them to any one that may need the services they offer. Thank you again.”
April R.
“I highly recommend A People’s Choice. The customer service and professionalism is exceptional. My documents were delivered to me quickly and accurately. I didn’t contact them until late on Thursday afternoon and had everything in hand to be at the County Government Center by 8:00am on Friday morning. Compared to using an attorney for complete paperwork, this service is only a fraction of the cost, more responsive, and better suited to quickly completing complicated court forms. “
Linda F.
“I needed help understanding and filling out legal documents but I didn’t have enough money to pay for an attorney. I searched the internet for a short period of time looking for assistance and when I found A People’s Choice, I was relieved to know that I would get the exact service that I needed at an affordable price. The staff was very professional and helpful with my legal documents. They worked around my schedule and responded to my emails on a timely manner. They took care of all of the paper work and filing and kept me posted. I would highly recommend A People’s Choice for your legal documents as you will get outstanding service at an affordable price. “
Sharon B.

We Help File Divorce in Los Angeles County!

  • or call 1-800-747-2780

First, I must tell our readers that Los Angeles County is not the easiest court with which to interact. They have many local rules and special requirements not only for divorce cases, but many other types of cases. For this reason alone, we often are contacted by couples who have tried to file divorce in Los Angeles County by themselves and gotten “stuck” in the process when the court rejects their judgment documents because they do not comply with Los Angeles County local rules. Most importantly, this is where the experience of A People’s Choice can be invaluable. A People’s Choice has helped thousands of Los Angeles couples complete their divorce. Although we prefer a customer to hire us from the beginning of the case, we will most certainly help people finish their divorce in Los Angeles County if they have gotten stuck along the way.

Which Service to Use to File Your Divorce?

As mentioned above, there are many options for help to file divorce in Los Angeles County. Yes, there are undoubtedly low-cost options advertised online as low as $99 to $139 for divorce paperwork. When comparing options, you need to understand what service you are paying for and getting. Remember, these super low-cost options only “prepare” paperwork. Often this paperwork does not include required local forms. These services do not help in any way in the actual divorce process, nor help people maneuver through the various court steps required to get a final judgment. Personally, if someone is taking this route, they could just as easily go to the Los Angeles County Self-Help Center which is free and offers basically the same type of help.

There is a definite advantage to using an experienced Legal Document Assistant to file your Los Angeles County divorce. Keep in mind, just like any service, legal service providers are not all the same. Although all legitimate California Legal Document Assistants are licensed and bonded, you will also find unlicensed and illegal “paralegals” or “preparers” advertising legal document help. One example is Studio Green Divorce in Ventura County. In this example, Studio Green Divorce is a company who is not a registered legal document assistant, yet advertises legal document preparation services. More importantly, this company is not bonded nor do they have the state mandated qualifications to prepare legal paperwork. In other words, this company is being operated illegally, and is advertising court document preparation services at a cheap cost. More disturbing is the fact that the operators of this company have no legitimate qualifications nor experience; and are putting their unaware customers and their cases at grave risk. This would be similar to an unlicensed dentist performing dental services without being a real dentist – or a person selling real estate without being a licensed real estate agent. In every profession, these fraudulent companies can do great harm to unsuspecting consumers. In the field of legal document preparation, our profession is regularly monitored by Calda.org who then reports these illegal companies to the local district attorney’s office. Once contacted, the district attorney has the long task of taking the necessary legal steps to prosecute and close their doors. This resolving process protects unsuspecting consumers and preserves the integrity of our profession. With this in mind, if you choose to hire someone to help you with your paperwork, I cannot stress the importance of doing your due diligence. Here are some tips:

  1. Make sure the company you hire is registered and bonded. Under California law, the document preparer/legal document assistant must display this information on their website.
  2. Call the County Clerk to verify active registration and bonding. All legal document assistants must renew their registration and bond every two years. If registration has lapsed, look for someone else.
  3. Check their rating with the Better Business Bureau.
  4. Check customer reviews. How many are there? Are there legitimate reviews from legitimate customers? Are the reviews consistently spread out over an extended period? Keep in mind, multiple reviews of a business within a short period are often “fake” and from family members and friends.

A People’s Choice has been in the legal document preparation service business since 1980. Our long-standing reputation and countless reviews offer our customers confidence in selecting us to help them file divorce in Los Angeles County. Better yet, our divorce services cover all California counties. Please check our ratings and reviews on the Better Business Bureau, Yelp, Superpages, Facebook, Google + and other social media outlets.

Steps to File Divorce in Los Angeles County

In order to file divorce in Los Angeles, you must first meet the residency requirements. What does this mean? First, either spouse must be a resident of California for at least six months before filing the petition. Secondly, one of the parties must have also lived a minimum of three months in Los Angeles County immediately before filling the petition. In this regard, either the Petitioner or the Respondent can meet the requirements to file divorce in Los Angeles County.

Where to File Divorce in Los Angeles County

Another aspect of filing divorce in Los Angeles County is to determine which division of the Los Angeles Superior Court is proper to hear your case. Twelve different court divisions handle family law cases.  In this regard, Los Angeles County has a special court locator system which will help determine where your case belongs.

File the Dissolution of Marriage

Once you have determined you meet the residency requirements, the petitioner will need to complete and file the following legal documents with the court clerk to file a basic divorce Petition in Los Angeles County:

  1. FL 100 – Petition
  2. FL 105 (if children) – UCCJEA
  3. Fl 110 – Summons
  4. FL 115 – Proof of Service of Summons
  5. FM-020 – Los Angeles Family Law Cover Sheet

As you can see, the Los Angeles Superior Court requires extra paperwork to the standard Judicial Council forms to comply the court local rules where you file the Petition.

Serving Your Spouse in Divorce

After the Los Angeles Superior Court Clerk files the Petition and assigns a case number, you need to serve a copy of the above-referenced documents on the respondent. The respondent will have thirty (30) days to file a response to the petition for dissolution. If a response is not filed, the case can go ahead as an uncontested matter by default.

Attend Family Resolution Conference

The court clerk will set the first Family Resolution Conference (FRC). During the FRC, each party will provide the judge with an update as to the status of the case. The FRC may be continued at the request of either party if the case will be settled without the court’s assistance.

Exchange Financial Disclosures

California law requires the parties to exchange financial information in all divorce cases. Both parties are expected to make first financial disclosures within 60 days of serving each other. The Petitioner will always need to complete the Preliminary Disclosures, even if the other party does not respond. If the parties are filing a Marital Settlement Agreement, both parties will need to complete the Preliminary Disclosures. Financial disclosures consist of each party identifying the assets and debts in which they believe are separate and community property. A secondary Final Disclosure is also required; however this requirement can be waived by both parties. Once the parties complete the exchange of financial disclosures, the final judgment documents can be prepared.

Completing your Los Angeles County Divorce

The easiest way to complete a Los Angeles County divorce is when both parties are willing to sign a Marital Settlement Agreement. The Los Angeles Superior Court will need a Marital Settlement Agreement for marriages with children or marriages of usually more than 3-5 years. The final divorce judgment will contain a marital settlement agreement. The marital settlement agreement will outline how the marital estate will be divided pursuant based on the agreement of the parties. Both parties will sign the agreement and file it along with the judgment with the court clerk to finish the divorce.

In shorter marriages or marriages without children, assets or debts, it is possible to complete the divorce case without an agreement if the other party has not filed a response.

We strongly recommend that you refer to the Los Angeles County local rules for family law cases if you are not using the services of an experienced legal document assistant to prepare your paperwork. When filing divorce in Los Angeles without professional help, this final phase of the process is where people often find problems with the court rejecting their Judgment.

We urge you to contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to file divorce in Los Angeles County.  We offer a streamlined process that allows our clients to provide all the necessary information through a secure online portal. Out interview portals enable our clients the convenience of moving their case along without having to take time off work. Between our online worksheet/interview portal and customer service and case management, clients receive the best of both worlds with convenience and personalized hands-on help. Using A People’s Choice to file divorce in Los Angeles County will avoid the pitfalls that typically occur when tackling this process without experienced, professional help. Call us today at 800-747-2780.

Get help with your Legal documents today!

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

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By |2018-09-03T18:05:18+00:00September 2nd, 2018|Family Law|0 Comments

About the Author:

Sandra M. McCarthy, founder of A People’s Choice Inc., has worked exclusively in the legal field since 1976. She served as the 2004-2005 President of CALDA (California Association of Legal Document Assistants). She obtained a Paralegal Certificate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her career in the legal field, she has worked as a freelance paralegal, law office manager and paralegal studies teacher, and has co-authored numerous legal publications and written hundreds of self-help legal articles. As a registered Legal Document Assistant, Sandy is dedicated to providing affordable, low-cost, self-help document preparation services for California consumers in all 58 counties.

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