If you’re a superhero fan, do you remember the character Sylbert Rundine/Dwarfstar from the movie The Flash? That actor’s real name is Derek Mears, and everything seems to be going right with him except for one thing: his marriage. In fact, there’s no doubt he had to research how to file for divorce in Kern County since he is from Bakersfield.
Did Maers rush through his Kern County divorce process just like the Flash? We may be unsure about that, but one thing is certain: sometimes marriages don’t just work, and a divorce is the best way to move on from it. But what were the steps Maers took to complete his divorce process? What are the forms he had fill out to finalize his dissolution of marriage—the same ones you’d have to file to get a Kern County divorce? Let’s find out.
How to File for Divorce in Kern County: A Step-by-Step Process
Divorce could have been a nightmare for Maers if he didn’t pay attention to the following steps. Don’t worry; they are not that complicated! This process conforms to the guidelines on how to file for a divorce in Kern County.
1. Check that you meet residency requirements and the grounds for divorce
California is a no-fault state. That means stating that your marriage is irretrievably broken based on irreconcilable issues is enough grounds for divorce in the divorce courts. Furthermore, either you or your spouse needs to have lived in California for six months and in the respective court filing Kern County for three months.
2. Find your court
You can find your closest court from the Kern County Superior Court, as there are various locations. The family court handles cases related to divorce, legal separation, and annulment.
3. Prepare and file the divorce papers
If you’re the petitioner, you’ll need to collect the required divorce paperwork, fill them out, and file a petition for divorce with the clerk’s office. One tip: fill in the correct information! That might seem obvious, but any incorrect details might mess up your case and require amendments to divorce forms, raising the divorce cost. A People’s Choice can be a great help as you handle your paperwork.
4. Make copies of your divorce papers
Two copies are necessary for your divorce procedure: one for you and one for your spouse. The original copy remains with the court; you’ll give this to the county clerk. Pay attention to the legal requirements of whether you need certified copies or informational copies as well.
5. Serve your spouse
Meeting your spouse might not be the right move now, especially in serious cases involving domestic violence or explosive arguments. That might be the reason why the courts require you to send the copies to your spouse using these two options:
- Ask an adult person (neutral to your case) to send the copies via certified mail or take them in person
- Hire a county Sheriff or professional server to do it for you
In the process of divorce, these steps ensure both parties are aware of the situation.
6. Finalize your divorce
After the waiting period (six months) is over your divorce settlement agreement has been negotiated, the judge can declare your marriage null via a signature. This can only happen if all the legal forms are filled in with correct information. As you can see, following all the procedures plays an integral role here. Your divorce then enters the Kern County divorce records, the divorce settlement agreement is finalized, and you can move on with your life.
However, the process of divorce can take a turn if you cannot agree on a marital issue with your spouse. That’s when a complicated divorce and combative divorce proceedings can cause more time, costs, and stress.
How to File for Divorce in Kern County: The Paperwork
If you meet the residency requirements, you can proceed to fill out and make copies of divorce papers you’ll need to approach the court. Be warned: there are a lot of divorce papers! If you feel overwhelmed, a divorce document preparation service like A People’s Choice can help you with your divorce packet.
Summon and Petition Divorce forms in Kern County
This is where the journey to get rid of your marriage license begins. These are mandatory divorce forms that inform the court and your spouse of your intention to divorce.
Petition (FL-100): This is the first form to fill out. It contains your appeal for dissolution/legal separation/nullity of marriage.
Summons (FL-110): Divorce decrees cannot be pursued if you don’t inform your spouse of your intention to end the marriage. This form handles that part of the process.
Proof of service of summons (FL-115): The person who serves your spouse with the divorce papers must complete pages 1 and 2 of this form. This simply proves that the spouse did indeed receive the proper forms.
Divorce Forms in Kern County for Property Division
Be sure to differentiate between property that you and your spouse share and anything that you own solely (bank accounts, real property, rental property, etc.) before working on this paperwork.
Property Declaration (FL-160): This outlines the property and debts that you and your spouse acquired during the marriage. It includes the date acquired dollar values, and how you propose to divide that between the two of you.
Separate Property Declaration (FL-160): This includes property that either of you acquired before the marriage.
Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure: It’s a legal requirement that you disclose your property and debts even if you have none. Complete this document and serve your spouse either right away or within 60 days of filing your petition.
Divorce Forms for Children Custody and Visitation in Kern County
If you have kids, you’ll need to address custody issues with your spouse. Not all these forms are mandatory, so we’ve divided them into two sections. If you’re not pursuing a divorce with children, you can skip to the next section.
Mandatory Divorce Forms
UCCJEA(FL-105): This is a legal requirement if you have children. If you have more than two children, you have to file an additional UCCJEA(FL-105) form to capture the other children’s information.
Optional Divorce Forms for Child Custody
Want to know the details of how to file for divorce in Kern County with children involved? Some of the optional divorce forms for child visitation and custody are as follows. They deal with child custody and visitation orders, physical custody, child support, and more.
- Child Custody and Visitation Attachment (FL-311)
- Request for Child Abduction Prevention Order (FL-312)
- Children’s Holiday Schedule Attachment (FL – 341©)
- Physical Custody Attachment (FL- 341 (D))
- Joint Legal Custody Attachment (FL – 341(E))
Kern County Divorce Forms on Marital Agreements and Support
Marital Settlement Agreement: This is an optional document type that can make your divorce a bit easier. As you might expect, it mostly applies to an uncontested divorce. It resolves you and your spouse’s marital property, debt division, and other rights and obligations subject to the divorce. It must contain both your signatures.
Spousal or Partner Support: You can petition your need for spousal support if you need financial support from your ex-spouse after being no longer legally married.
Kern County Divorce Filing Fees
How much does it cost to file divorce documentation in Kern County, CA? The exact filing fee varies from one individual to another depending on additional court services, but this amount stands at approximately $435. If you decide to serve your spouse using a professional sheriff or by mail, expect to pay a process server fee that ranges from $75 – $150.
Don’t have the money? There are still divorce options for you. According to divorce laws, a fee waiver is available if you cannot afford the filing fee and meet the minimum financial guidelines. Learn more about this in our article about how to file a free divorce petition.
Get Help with your Kern County Divorce
One of the most common questions about how to file for divorce in Kern County is whether you need a divorce attorney. This depends entirely on how you and your spouse intend to handle the divorce process. For an uncontested divorce (the one that you cooperate with your spouse), visiting law offices might not be necessary. All you need to do is fill in the required divorce papers and petition for a divorce! However, you might need someone to help you with the paperwork. That’s where we come in.
Filing your divorce with the Kern County clerk can be complicated. After all, you’re required to cooperate with someone you couldn’t cooperate with during your marriage. A legal assistant like A People’s Choice charges affordable prices to help you accurately prepare your divorce documents for the Kern County Court clerk. This can help you protect your assets and reduce divorce trauma associated with a protracted divorce. Contact us today to get started on your divorce or other civil matters.
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