When you research how to file for divorce without a lawyer, the websites make it sound like every divorce case falls into one of two categories. At one extreme is the Instagrammable “conscious uncoupling,” where there’s zero conflict and you and your spouse do not need any outside help or divorce petition. At the other extreme are the couples who live as mortal enemies during the divorce process.
Mom wants to homeschool the kids and shield them from worldly influences, but Dad wants to move them out of California and send them to a public school where the teachers include their pronouns in their email signatures. A vast majority of common divorces exist somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.
When Does the Process of Divorce Start?
Although a complaint about divorce starts with the filing of a divorce petition, sometimes the complexity or level of conflict in your case changes as the case progresses. If things start amicably, but your divorce gets messier after you file the initial divorce petition, it does not necessarily mean that you need a lawyer as a counterclaim for divorce. This also applies to contested divorces.
Even if your divorce action changes course after the initial filing of the divorce petition, having a California non-attorney legal document assistant prepare your divorce documents has great significance. Don’t waste extra expenses on a costly, experienced divorce attorney when you want to file divorce papers.
It Starts with a Divorce Petition
In California, the divorce petition is Form FL-100. It’s the first document that you must file when you get divorced; it’s what gets your divorce judgment started. Typically, you attach a summons (Form FL-110) to your divorce petition, plus an additional form if you have minor children.
The divorce petition includes your name and that of your spouse, as well as the date you married and the date of your marriage divorce. It also includes a list of specific requests about the terms or grounds for divorce. These requests relate to the:
- Possession of the marital home
- Division of assets and debts,
- Child custody
- Child support payments, and
- Child visitation schedule
After you serve your spouse with a copy of the divorce petition, they have the opportunity to file a response to the petition for divorce. If your spouse does not file a response within one month during the divorce process, the divorce becomes uncontested. This implies that your spouse loses the opportunity to file a response or disagree with the complaint about divorce filed.
Amending Your Divorce Petition
You still have the opportunity to amend your divorce petition after the initial filing. Most amendments happen because the filing spouse made an error on the initial petition. Also, the parties could have established more information concerning the value of their marital assets and debts, hence need to update this.
You can also amend the petition if, after filing it, you change your mind about the instructions for divorce. You can amend a divorce petition in California in two ways. First, you can simply file a new Form FL-100 and check the “amended” box on the first page of the terms of the divorce. Second, you can file a motion to amend your divorce petition in the complaint forms.
A Legal Document Assistant Makes Filing a Divorce Petition Painless
A non-attorney legal document assistant is the best person to prepare your initial or amended divorce petition. Contact A People’s Choice to get your divorce petition and other divorce documents prepared for a reasonable price. You can reach us at 800-747-2780.
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