UA-32185810-1
TwitterRssFacebook
Submit a New Listing
Best Way To Divorce Self-Managed Divorce California: All Forms

Best Way To Divorce Self-Managed Divorce California: All Forms

California Self-Managed

Divorce Preparation:

The person filing for divorce is known as the PETITIONER, and the person responding/being served with the divorce, is known as the RESPONDENT.

THE PETITION FOR DISSOLUTION (FL-100) is a mandatory form as part of filing for divorce. The SUMMONS (FL-110) is a notice to your spouse that you have filed for divorce and they have 30 calendar days to respond. It also contains a set of Standard Family Law Restraining Orders, commonly referred to as the “ATROs” and provides information regarding rights and options. If you have minor children of your relationship, you will also need to file a declaration related to your children’s residences over the past five years, called the Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, or UCCJEA (FL-105).

When we refer to a ‘domestic partnership’, this is a legal relationship available to all same-sex couples, and to those opposite-sex couples where at least one party is aged 62 or older and not married to their spouse.

Best Way To Divorce

Key Resources

Best Way To Divorce: Step 1 – Drafting The Divorce Petition

Z

A Divorce Petition Is Filed

THE PETITION FOR DISSOLUTION (FL-100) is a mandatory form as part of filing for divorce. A Petition is a request for divorce. It lists factual information that is required before a judge can grant a divorce. This includes residency information, statistical information such as the date of marriage and separation, and your general position on the divorce issues. There are five general categories of divorce issues:

• Children of the marriage: custody, visitation, and support; • Spousal support; • Property division; • Debt allocation; and • Attorney fees.

One of you makes the decision to submit the PETITION. Ideally the Petition contains correct information and reasonable requests that you have already discussed with them. Please don’t send it as a nasty surprise (if that’s possible) – this is a journey you should begin together. HOWEVER – the petition must be served by someone who is over 18 and not you! Please don’t ask any of your adult children to serve the petition on your spouse – get an independent third party to do it for you.

In the State of California you don’t need to show ‘fault’ (thank goodness) – but you do need to provide grounds. Both a legal separation (where you agree terms re. finances and children but remain legaly married) and a divorce require the same grounds. You must choose between irreconcilable differences or the incurable insanity of your spouse. infidelity is not required to be stated as a cause and there is a lot to be said for keeping this process as simple and uncomplicated (emotionally as well as administratively) as possible.

Z

The Summons

The SUMMONS (FL-110) is a notice to your spouse that you have filed for divorce. It tells your spouse or domestic partner that a court case has started and what will happen if he or she does not respond in 30 days. It also contains a set of Standard Family Law Restraining Orders, commonly referred to as the “ATROs” and provides information regarding rights and options.

Both parties are subject to the Standard Family Law Restraining Orders, which means neither can do the following: • Remove the minor children of the marriage from California, even for vacations. • Change, cancel, borrow against, or dispose of any insurance. This includes life, health, auto, disability, and all other forms of insurance that are held for the benefit of either spouse or their minor children. • Transfer, conceal, encumber, or dispose of any property, including both real and personal property, community or separate property except in the usual course of business or for life necessities. • Create a nonprobate transfer, which means a transfer of property upon death that avoids probate. This does not include the creation of a will.

Z

Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act

If you both have young children from your relationship, you will also need to file a declaration related to your children’s residences over the past five years, called the Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, or UCCJEA (FL-105).

The Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, commonly known as the UCCJEA (FL-105), is a mandatory California divorce form. It is a document that allows the judge to make sure that California has jurisdiction (authority) to make custody and visitation orders. In order for a California judge to be able to make these orders, the children must be residents of California.

Z

Don’t Forget The Family Law Case Cover Sheet When Filing For Divorce in Los Angeles County

If you are filing for divorce in Los Angeles County, you are required to fill in the Family Law Case Cover Sheet form FAM-020.

The family law case cover sheet is a local form that is used in Los Angeles County, and is used to help the court determine jurisdiction for your case. In essence, they want to make sure you are in the right court. It is fairly simply to fill in but important to include it.

It is worth checking if your county has additional forms that you might need to fill in when divorcing.

Z

Filing Process

There are mandatory filing fees when you first file for divorce in California. This fee is commonly referred to as a first appearance fee. If you are on disability or another form of state aid and you apply for a waiver, you will automatically qualify to have these fees waived. If you need a payment plan or cannot pay the filing fees, you can also apply for this assistance.

You will need to bring your papers to your local courthouse and file them with the family law clerk’s office. Since most counties have multiple courthouses in multiple locations, make sure you look up the address of the family law courthouse. Be aware that most courthouses do not operate on a typical business hour schedule and may close as early as 1:00 pm.

For all documents you file with the court, you will need to double hole punch the original document at the top and make two copies of each pleading you want to file. The court clerk will take and file the original then stamp and return the two copies as endorsed-filed documents to you. One copy is for you, and one copy is to be served on your spouse.

Once the Petition, Summons, and, if you have minor children of the marriage, the UCCJEA have been filed, the next step is to serve your spouse with these documents. Service means to give the other party copies of the documents. Serving the initial documents gives your spouse notice that a case has been opened and that he or she is subject to the Standard Family Law Restraining Orders. Proper service is essential for moving forward with the divorce process – until service happens, the minimum waiting period of six months and a day does not begin.

Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time) Application Attachment Form FL-311 is an optional form, but it may help you ensure you do not leave anything out of your request.

Z

Property Declaration:

If you need more room on your petition to list your property and debts, use the following form: Property Declaration (Family Law) FL-160 Lists each item of property and debt and whether you think it is community or separate property.

WANT THE REST OF THE VIDEOS AND INFORMATION

TO GO WITH THE FORMS?

If you would like to get more explanations and also videos explaining the next stages (as above) then you’ll need to access the FULL VIDEO PACK version INCLUDING a 50% Discount if you click this button below: 

WANT THE REST OF THE VIDEOS AND INFORMATION

TO GO WITH THE FORMS?

If you would like to get more explanations and also videos explaining the next stages (as above) then you’ll need to access the FULL VIDEO PACK version INCLUDING a 50% Discount if you click this button below: 

Very Useful People

Expert advice – no obligation conversations

Choose your expert

Legal and Dispute Resolution Support

The lawyers on my Directory are all trained in some form of dispute resolution (ie. they want to help you to stay out of court). That includes mediators, collaborative divorce practitioners and arbitrators.

And don’t forget about changing your Will!

  • Mediation
  • Collaborative Law
  • Arbitration

Financial Experts

Whether you need an accountant, or a highly qualified financial planner – you can access those experts here……..

  • Financial Planning
  • Mortgages
  • Tax Accountants

Counselling and Coaching and Parenting

Need emotional support? Or a bit lost about what’s going to happen next? Worried about the kids?

Have a no-obligation chat (or some even offer whole discovery sessions) with our experts here……

  • Coaching
  • Parenting
  • Counselling

Need a Divorce Strategy?

Save time and money and plot a more peaceful way to divorce: Access a free 15 min Divorce Navigation Call

  • Coaching
  • Parenting
  • Counselling

Bonus Videos

What Does A Divorce Strategist Do, Exactly?

Through my own experience of family break up, of not having any legal protection (no living together agreement), and watching my married friends get divorced and the misery and cost and conflict that came about, I felt a need to share what I have learned.

I created live events to help families to be more resilient; a Directory of Experts focused on non-adversarial ways to divorce (mediation, collaborative law – all keeping people out of court); and a way to create a Living Together Life Plan and Agreement so those who don’t marry will not end up in the situation I found myself in.

And as the Alternative Divorce Guide and the UK’s (possibly only) Divorce Strategist, I am always happy to guide people towards the right person to talk to at the right time, and offer them a wealth of resources through my online CoParenting in a Box.

Because I am an ‘independent voice’ and professional speaker and campaigner for better ways to divorce, I’m often asked for my opininions on divorce-related issues by journalists.

“Suzy was able to offer really important and comforting advice on the whole process and offer positive alternatives to help guide me through this stressful time. Her contact list is extensive and she was able to put me in touch with a many great people who were also able to offer guidance and make the process much less painless. I’m really glad I met her and feel like my journey through this difficult period has been much more positive because of it”  

KM

“Wow you are an amazing resource Suzy!!

I liked the way things are set out. I like the information, it makes sense. And it is supportive

Thank you so muc

Louise

Just want a quick chat?

I can offer a 15 minute Discovery Call for free to subscribers to this course. Book here:

15 Min CallI need Longer
Disclaimer  
The information and videos on this guide applies to England and Wales only. The law may be different if you live in Scotland or Northern Ireland. We have simplified things in this guide. Please don’t rely on this guide as a complete statement of the law. We recommend you try and get advice from the sources we have suggested.