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Book an initial meeting for you and your spouse to get started! You can work with us if you or your spouse lives in any of these states:. How to Choose a Mediator.

How to File a Divorce in California

Lawyer vs. Collaborative Divorce vs. Mediation: What's The Difference? Search this site on Google. Read our divorce blog for practical guidance and to learn more about our divorce mediation services. How to Get a Divorce in California without a Lawyer. Share this post:. Your time is precious and you want to heal and move forward as quickly as possible.

California Divorce Mediation The answer to the question, "How to get a divorce in California without a lawyer," is to use divorce mediation and work with an experienced, professionally trained and highly skilled divorce mediator. In other words, you and your spouse must both agree to use divorce mediation. If both of you are on the same page about using mediation, you then need to identify and choose a competent divorce mediator to guide you through your negotiations. During mediation sessions, your mediator will actively guide you and your wife or husband through negotiations on all relevant issues parenting time, child support, spousal support, community property division, etc.

Typically, this is done over the course of 1 to 4 sessions. Your mediator will then draft a document memorializing the agreements reached on all of these topics. When mediation is concluded, you will file your divorce papers in one of four ways two involve lawyers and two do not. It's better for your kids. Every decision you make in mediation will be made with the following question in mind: What is best for our kids? When you allow lawyers to control your divorce process, as a California couple, you risk a number of bad things that can happen: Lawyers are trained to fiercely advocate for only one party, and have very strong opinions.

Since lawyers bill you hourly, they're going to keep going and going because it's not in their financial interest to settle. The longer they fight, the more you pay. Attorneys are often overextended, juggling dozens of cases at the same time. You may not be a priority and your divorce proceedings may drag on longer than necessary. Adding additional time and stress to an already unpleasant situation. When working with family law attorneys, California couples will not only be at the mercy of their availability but should you go to trial, the court calendar, too.

Before you file

So you could be waiting for months to get a court date, even if you and your lawyers are ready. Once again, dragging the process our for much longer than is necessary. When learning how does divorce mediation work in California, there are a bunch of other benefits in addition to eliminating attorney involvement in divorce negotiations: Mediators enable the parties to come to an agreement each spouse finds fair and equitable. In other words, you'll be in complete control of your settlement agreement.

Good mediators will offer you a flat-fee, all-inclusive mediation so you'll know up front what services are included and exactly what your divorce will cost. Eliminating the stress associated with the spiraling cost of attorney hourly billing. High quality mediators limit the number of couples they take on at the same time so you are a priority.

While there are undoubtedly countless benefits to divorce without a lawyer in California, here are a few things you need to understand before you choose this path: 1. You and your spouse must both be willing to get a divorce. Both spouses need to be active participants in the divorce process. Fill out a Petition to start divorce proceedings. Once you have determine where you can file for divorce, you can begin preparing the required paperwork. To complete the form you must: Write in blue or black ink or type the information.

Provide your name, address, phone number and email address. Set forth that you are dissolving a marriage, whether you have children, and if so, provide their names, birth dates and ages. Identify property that you had before the marriage. Indicate whether you have marital assets or debt.

Date, print and sign your name. Fill out and read the Summons form. The summons requests that you provide the names of you and your spouse. This form also provides important information related to the divorce process, including: The time frame that the responding spouse has to respond. Restraining orders against both parties restraining them from removing minor children from the jurisdiction.


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  • How to get a divorce in California!

Restraining orders against both parties restraining them from changing the beneficiaries of health insurance, life insurance or other insurance programs. Restraining orders against both parties restraining them from hiding or disposing of property. This form requests information regarding your children and any custody agreements that are already in place. Check to see whether your local court requires specific forms.

Some county courts require that you complete additional forms for their county. Complete additional forms. If the court where you are filing for divorce requires any additional forms, be sure to download and complete the forms in accordance with the instructions. Make at least two copies of all of your forms. When you file your forms in the court, the court will keep the original and you will have one copy for yourself and one copy to serve on your spouse.

File your forms with the court clerk for your county. When filing for divorce, take the originals and copies of your Petition, Summons and Declaration if applicable to the court clerk.

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The California Divorce Process in Ten Steps - Cristin Lowe Law

If the documents appear to be in order, the clerk will stamp and keep the original. You will have to pay a filing fee for your documents. Gather divorce papers to serve on your spouse.


  1. Use the knowledge you gained about the divorce process to make smart choices?
  2. 10 Steps to Getting Divorced in California.
  3. A California Divorce Can Be Contested or Uncontested..
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  6. Dissolution (Divorce) and Legal Separation (Family Law);
  7. Once you have filed your divorce papers with the court, you are legally required to serve officially give a copy to your spouse. A copy of the Summons that you filed with the court. A copy of any local county forms.

    Ask an Expert

    Serve your spouse with the divorce papers. Once you have gathered all of the applicable documents, you are legally required to provide a copy of the papers to your spouse. This person can be a friend, relative, professional process server or a county sheriff. This is referred to as personal service. You can also serve your spouse by mail, which means that you send your spouse a copy of the divorce papers by registered mail and with a Notice and Acknowledgement of receipt form.

    Fill out and file Proof of Service of Summons. This form demonstrates that your spouse was given the documents. Wait for a Response. Gather financial information. Once you filed your Petition, you have 60 days to file your financial disclosures. You should immediately begin collecting your financial documents, which may include: W-2 and s for the previous year. Paystubs for at least two pay periods. Copy of all deeds, car titles and car registrations. Complete Financial Disclosure forms.

    California Divorce – An Overview of the Divorce Process

    You must complete and file these documents with the court within 60 days of filing your petition. This is a cover sheet for your declaration of disclosure and you must check all of the applicable boxes on the front page and attest to the truth of your statements. This document lists all of the assets and debts of you and your spouse. If the asset was acquired before the marriage you can note that on the form as separate property. This documents sets forth all of your earnings and expenses.

    If you are a business owner, you may need to submit profit and loss statements for the company. This document requires you to mark that you are serving the document and on whom the document was served. File your financial disclosures with the court.

    How to File an Uncontested Divorce in California

    Take the original and two copies of your financial disclosures to the court. The court will stamp and keep the original and stamp and return your copies. Serve the financial disclosures and file a declaration regarding service. As discussed above, serve your spouse either by personal service or by registered mail.

    This form demonstrates that you properly provided your spouse with the court documents. Complete final divorce forms.