How to Get Divorce Papers in California

How to Get Divorce Papers
in California

Divorce paperwork is one of the most confusing parts of the divorce process. Spouses who want to end their marriage have to know what forms they may need, where to get them, and how to proceed with the process.

Where to Get Divorce Papers

There are several ways of obtaining divorce documents in the state of California.

  • Get divorce papers from an attorney in law;
  • Download divorce forms for free from the California Self-Help website;
  • Acquire divorce documents from the local Family Law Facilitator’s office in person;
  • Get ready-to-sign papers from an online divorce company.

All the ways of acquiring divorce forms have their pros and cons.

The use of an attorney's service can lead to more expenses than expected. If a petitioner downloads papers from the California Self-Help website, there is a high chance of overlooking the required papers. Finally, personally approaching a Family Law Facilitator’s office can be a hassle.

California Online Divorce provides users with an online questionnaire to determine the case’s specifics, select suitable forms, and fill them out following local requirements. As a result, a person gets ready-to-sign divorce documents in 2 business days.

It’s cheap, doesn’t take long, and spouses don’t have to go anywhere. The website also offers state-specific step-by-step filing instructions as a bonus.

Printable Divorce Papers

With California Online Divorce, a person receives divorce papers ready to be printed, signed, and handed to the clerk to begin the filing process. In contrast, downloading divorce documents from the California Self-Help website requires petitioners to know what specific forms are required for their case.

Uncontested Divorce Forms

The list of forms that are required to complete an uncontested divorce includes:

  • Petition FL-100
  • Summons FL-110
  • Proof of Service of Summons FL-115
  • Notice and Acknowledgement of Receipt FL-117
  • Response FL-120
  • Appearance, Stipulations, and Waivers FL-130
  • Declaration of Disclosure FL-140
  • Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration FL-141
  • Schedule of Assets and Debts FL-142
  • Stipulation and Waiver of Final Declaration and Disclosure FL-144
  • Income and Expense Declaration FL-150
  • Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution or Legal Separation FL-170
  • Judgment FL-180
  • Judgment Checklist FL-182
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment FL-190
  • Proof of Personal Service FL-330
  • Proof of Service by Mail FL-335

Divorce Papers Without Children

There are no specific divorce documents that are required for childless couples. The list featured above is applicable for divorce without children.

Divorce Papers With Children

Couples who have minor children have to provide the court with additional documents:

  • Declaration Under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act FL-105/GC-120;
  • Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time) Application Attachment FL-311.

Child Custody

The state of California recognizes two types of child custody:

  • Legal - an ability to make major important decisions for the children such as education, religion, health, and so on;
  • Physical - determines who the children live with.

There are also two types of legal custody in California:

  • Joint - both parents have the right to make major decisions in the children’s lives;
  • Sole - one parent has such a right.

Physical custody has two types as well:

  • Joint - parents agree that children live with both of them. However, it does not mean that parents share equal time as this is decided via negotiations;
  • Sole - children spend the majority of their time with one parent while visiting the other during established time frames.

Child Support

Child support in California is a regular payment made by one parent to another in order to cover the costs of raising a child. It can be provided by one parent or both - it depends on the decision of the court.

On the other hand, parents can take the resolution of the question into their own hands. This way, it is possible to avoid extended court hearings and expenditures.

California family law dictates that child support is provided until the child reaches adulthood (18 years of age). Nonetheless, there are possible exceptions to this rule depending on the circumstances.

Free Do-It-Yourself Divorce Forms

DIY divorce in California is a rather straightforward process. Spouses seeking this scenario are omitting the use of lawyers’ services. Thankfully, it is possible to get all the papers for free, as mentioned above. Official websites of the California Judicial Branch provide all the required documents.

Nonetheless, the free option comes with its downsides. If a petitioner makes a mistake when selecting and filling out papers and files them to the clerk, the application may be rejected. That is why it is required to be cautious regarding the paperwork.

Divorce Papers Online

This is an excellent option for spouses who are trying to lower the costs of their divorce while making it easier in general. An online divorce company can assist with generating divorce documents.

Partners can receive ready-to-sign documents that are tailored to their case. It is way more convenient and allows for avoiding potential mistakes caused by a lack of legal knowledge.

Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

What happens after divorce papers are filed?

Documents need to be processed, and it is required to serve a copy to the other side. A petitioner can serve papers by mail or by hiring a person who is more than 18 years of age to deliver documents to the respondent.

What happens if your spouse won’t sign divorce papers?

If the spouse does not sign divorce papers, the divorce becomes a default one. It is a divorce when the court passes a final decision, even if the receiving party ignores the documents. If the receiving partner does not respond within the deadline (30 days), it is possible to proceed without the latter’s input.

How to fill out divorce papers?

It is possible to fill out the papers without any help. Another option is to hire a lawyer to do this task. The most convenient way is to hire an online divorce company to provide the client with ready-to-sign state-specific papers.

What happens after divorce papers are served?

The couple must wait for 6-months (the waiting period) before it is over. The next step is the finalization of the divorce. If a respondent does not dispute the divorce, the couple fills out final documents and files them to receive a final divorce decree.

Who serves the papers?

Papers have to be served by mail or personal service by hiring a person over 18 years old.

How can I get a copy of my divorce papers?

A copy of divorce papers can be acquired after they have been filed. A copy of the papers can be delivered as a physical copy via mail or by an appointed person.

How long does it take to serve divorce papers?

The timeframe of service depends on the delivery type (mail or process server). Once the papers are served, the state of California gives the defendant 30 days to respond.
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