Hiring an attorney to represent you through the divorce process will cost you thousands of dollars. In this regard, consider hiring a legal document assistant such as A People’s Choice to file your divorce instead. A legal document preparer knows how to start a divorce in California. In addition, they can complete all the forms you need to finish your divorce for a fraction of the costs an attorney would charge you. Contact us for more information on how to start a divorce in California with one of our experienced divorce assistants.
Initial Forms to Start a Divorce in California
First, to start a divorce in California, you need to complete various forms. The primary document required to start the case is called the Petition, form FL-100. Generally speaking, this form provides details about your marriage, such as time spent legally married, personal information, and names of children. Also, the FL-100 addresses how you want to handle custody and child support.
In addition, You must file a Summons Form FL-110 with the Petition. This form informs your spouse that the divorce process has been initiated. The back of the Summons also identifies standard restraining orders that become effective when the divorce papers are filed.
Furthermore, if you have children the court will need the FL-105 UCCJEA form. Keep in mind many courts may have other local forms such as a court assignment document that is filed with the Petition to start a divorce in California
Next, you need to submit your forms to the court. Once presented, the court clerk will assign a case number. Lastly, you will need to serve your spouse a complete copy of all filed paperwork. Have someone over the age of 18 give a copy of the filed papers to your spouse. Next, complete and file form FL-115. The form informs the court that your spouse received copies of the filed divorce papers.
Steps to Start a Divorce
Keep in mind, the California court will not have authority over a divorce unless two the filing party meets two residency requirements. First, to file for divorce in California, the moving party must have lived in the state for six months. In addition, the moving party must have lived in the county where they file the Petition for at least the three preceding months
Complete FL-100, FL -105, FL-110, Fl-115, and any other local forms and submit them for filing at the courthouse. The moving party must pay a filing fee. A Petitioner may get a fee waiver of the court filing fee if they meet the court’s low-income guidelines. This option is available for a person who receives public benefits or has a low-income.
Once the moving party has filed the initial documents with the local court, the respondent must be served with all filed forms. Although there is no mandated timeframe within which the papers must be served, the court will set follow-up hearings to make sure this step has been completed. With this in mind, once served, the Respondent has 30 days from date of service to file a Response. If the respondent fails to respond within that time, the court can go ahead and make orders about the marriage, custody and child support, property, and spousal support without the respondent’s contest.
Contact us for more information on how to start a divorce in California. We can help you prepare and file the forms you need to start a divorce in California. Not only do we prepare the forms, we will file them with the court and make sure that the court enters your Judgment of Dissolution. Call to day at 800-747-2780.