An uncontested divorce in California is a divorce where 1) the parties agree to the terms of the divorce paperwork, or 2) a divorce proceeding where one party fails to appear or respond. The advantage of an uncontested divorce is that it is less costly than a contested divorce and neither party ever appears in court.
An uncontested divorce is not right for everyone. Couples with complicated legal issues may sometimes be unable to reach an agreement, or sometimes one of the parties is not willing to compromise on certain issues.
How to Qualify for an Uncontested Divorce in California
In order to qualify for an uncontested divorce in California, the parties must either 1) agree on all the terms of the divorce or 2) the Respondent (non-filing party) must fail to appear in the case and the issues of the divorce are settled unilaterally with approval from the judge.
If the parties reach an agreement, it must include all the following issues: child support, spousal support, child custody, child visitation, division of property and division of debt. If the parties can agree on all the issues, there will be no reason for either party to ever set foot in court. Typically, the court will automatically approve the terms of an agreement signed by both parties, even if it does not comply with California’s guidelines for child and/or spousal support or the division of assets and debt is not equal.
If the divorce proceeds unilaterally by the Petitioner (the party who filed the divorce) without an agreement from the other party, other court forms will be necessary to complete the case. This is called a “True Default” case. In order to get a final Judgment, the filing party must send supporting documentation to the court to substantiate their proposed request for guideline child and/or spousal support and the proposed division of property and debts. It will be up to the Judge to approve the proposed terms. In this situation, the judge will more carefully scrutinize the proposal more than they would the terms of an agreement which has been voluntarily signed by both parties because the court wants to be sure that the party who has not appeared in the case is being treated equitably and the division of assets and debts is fair.
A People’s Choice Provides Low-Cost Self-Help Legal Document Preparation for Uncontested Divorce in California
If you are considering filing for divorce in California and want to avoid the high cost of attorney’s fees, contact A People’s Choice for low-cost legal document help. Although we cannot give legal advice, A People’s Choice can help you in preparing all the required legal documents to help you complete your uncontested divorce in California without having to hire a lawyer.
If you need more information about divorce or the California divorce process, do not hesitate to call our office. A People’s Choice has been providing self-help legal document services for over 30 years and has established an excellent reputation in the community. When you are ready to go ahead with your paperwork, information can be provided to us through our convenient online system, over the phone or in person.
No matter what county you live in or what county in California you need to file your divorce, A People’s Choice can prepare the necessary uncontested divorce documents required, including any necessary local forms for your county.