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There are two major types of divorce according to the laws of California: contested and uncontested.
The bad news is that in California, uncontested divorce process will surely end up being not that easy to finish if you are going to collect dozens of various blank forms all by yourself. There is a slight chance that you’ll fill out all these papers correctly, but it’s way more likely that the court will reject your documents as they are either outdated or filled out incorrectly. The good news is that none of this will be an issue if you use OnlineDivorcer.
Our company has been a leading provider of online divorce services in California for over 12 years and have proven to be very effective in thousands of cases. We offer a full package of filled out documents suited specifically for each uncontested case our clients come to us with.
Check eligibility for initiating an uncontested divorce process.
Fill out our simple questionnaire to personalize your divorce forms in California.
Download a complete package of documents along with a list of instructions on how to file them properly. Print them out and file them with your local court.
Filing for divorce in California without a lawyer, the most important thing you should begin with is make sure you are qualified for a divorce in CA. First, you or your spouse should be a resident of California for at least 6 months prior to filing. Second, in order to get a divorce without legal assistance, you and your spouse must have no feuds regarding childcare, spousal support, paying debts, or dividing property. If you can’t come to an agreement on these and any other important aspects of your marriage dissolution, you will have to ask for the help of a lawyer and get a contested divorce.
Generally, in California, a divorce without a lawyer can be completed in just a few steps:
Note: The documents are filed by only one person, the one who initiates a legal breakup. This individual is called the petitioner.
Note: If the spouses have no disputable questions and no issues regarding their divorce process, they might not have a court hearing at all.
Taking into account that an hourly rate of a lawyer in CA is $400, it is possible to conclude that do-it-yourself divorce in California is the cheapest option. However, is it really fast and easy to get a divorce on your own? Let’s answer this question by reviewing California DIY divorce process:
As you can see, a DIY divorce in California is not as simple as many believe it to be. Even if you have no children or property with your spouse, there are still a lot of forms you need to find and fill out correctly to get your marriage dissolution started.
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There are dozens of dissolution of marriage forms in California suited for different divorce cases. Even if your divorce is uncontested, the documents you need will depend on your case. For your comfort, we have listed some of the basic California uncontested divorce forms:
In order to get your CA divorce forms filled out, you will need to the following information on your hands:
There might be some additional details required depending on your individual case.
A spouse who is initiating a marriage dissolution may file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Summons with the Superior Court in the county where one of the spouses has resided for the past 3 months. After that, a spouse who is filing must find or hire a person to serve the other spouse with copies of the Petition and other paperwork. The respondent should, in turn, file a response within 30 days after receiving the copies.
In California, either you or your spouse has to live in the state for at least 6 months before filing there. Besides, you must have lived in the county you are initiating a divorce in for at least 3 months. You cannot file for divorce in CA unless these residency requirements are met.
The mandatory waiting period in California is 6 months. If the parties wish to divorce quickly, they can come to full agreement before the 6-month period to make a dissolution uncontested. However, in any case, the divorce will not be finalized earlier.
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Child support and custody are among the divorce-related aspects that have to be resolved by the spouses to be in agreement and start a dissolution process.
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Can I file for divorce in California without hiring a lawyer?
Yes, you can. However, this option is only available if it is an uncontested divorce, meaning that you and your spouse are in a full agreement regarding all its aspects. When everything is settled on and both of you are satisfied with the decisions you reached, there will be no need for a lawyer to voice and justify your requests on your behalf during the final hearing.
How to file for divorce in California by yourself?
There are several steps of filing for divorce in CA:
Where to file for uncontested divorce in California?
You can find your county's court clerk's office on California Court website. During the phone call, clarify whether you qualify to file for divorce in this specific court.
What California divorce forms do you need to start a divorce?
Here are some of the required forms:
There are various other CA divorce forms you may need depending on your case.
How much does a divorce cost in California?
The primary divorce filing fee in California is $435. On average, uncontested divorce in California costs $1000, as there are other court fees involved. They mostly depend on the county in which you reside, as well as the specific case. The fees also depend on whether you have common kids, property, and debt.
How long does it take to get a divorce in California?
The divorce process in California typically ranges from 6 months for uncontested cases to 18 months or more if the spouses are not in agreement concerning some issues, such as alimony, child custody or support, and property division.
What are the residency requirements for getting a divorce in CA?
According to the California state website, either spouse must have lived in the state for at least 6 months prior to filing.
How to serve divorce papers in California?
After you successfully file a Divorce Petition and other basic documents with the court, you will need to provide your partner with a copy of the petition and a Summons to appear in court. Note: You can’t serve the papers to your partner by yourself and will need to find a third-party person for this purpose. This might be your friend, relative, county sheriff, or a professional divorce server (anyone over 18 years). This person will also need to sign the Proof of Service of Summons afterward. Note that you will have to pay county sheriff or a server for this service.
Is California a community property state?
Yes, California is a community law state, meaning that it follows the rule that all the assets acquired during the marriage are considered community property and are divided equally between the spouses. Please note that you have to be careful while diving the property in the state of California since the court may reject the documents if they consider the division to be unfair.
What are the most common grounds for divorce in California?
California is a no-fault state, meaning that according to its law, a divorce is granted without one spouse accusing the other one of breaking up a marriage. There are two grounds for marriage dissolution in California: irreconcilable differences and incurable insanity, with the latter being the rare one.
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