Once you’ve made the decision to get a divorce in California, the next step is to file the appropriate divorce forms with the court. If your divorce is uncontested, meaning you and your spouse are in agreement with regard to ending your marriage and handling other issues, such as spousal support and property division, the process becomes far less complicated. However, even an uncontested divorce can end up becoming contentious if it’s not handled properly, which is why it is always a good idea to enlist the help of a qualified California uncontested divorce lawyer. If you are considering a divorce in California, contact our reputable divorce lawyers at (619) Divorce to get all the information you need about filing uncontested divorce forms and navigating the California divorce process. With our expert legal team on your side, you can make sure your divorce agreement is fair and equitable and that the entire process goes as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Table of Contents Uncontested Divorce Forms
Skilled Uncontested Divorce Lawyer in California
In California, a divorce can be “uncontested,” meaning the divorcing spouses do not challenge any conditions of the divorce in court. Uncontested divorces tend to be less stressful, since the spouses are in agreement on all key issues, as well as more efficient and cost-effective, since the case doesn’t have to go before a judge. A divorce becomes “contested” when the spouses disagree on one or more key issues, such as finances, property, child custody or support issues. If you are considering a divorce in California, you will want to know if an uncontested divorce is the best option for your specific situation. Uncontested divorce does not mean there are no issues to go over and make decisions about. Rather, it means that you and your spouse would prefer to figure out these issues on your own, with the help of an attorney, and avoid an unnecessary courtroom battle. By consulting a reputable California divorce lawyer at the very beginning of your case, you can learn more about the uncontested divorce process and find out if you meet the requirements for an uncontested divorce in California.
What is an Uncontested Divorce?
There are two main types of divorce in California: contested and uncontested. An uncontested divorce is one in which the divorcing spouses agree to end their marriage and agree on other issues, such as child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support and division of property. A contested divorce, on the other hand, means the spouses are unable to come to an agreement on some or all of these issues and are asking the court to make the decisions for them. Whenever possible, an uncontested divorce is preferable because it gives the spouses the most control over their divorce and the outcome with regard to child custody and other issues. When a divorce is contested, the case typically ends up being far more complicated and contentious. Some divorces start out contested and end up uncontested when the spouses find that they are able to reach a resolution without intervention from a judge, often through mediation, negotiation or some other process. The reverse is also possible. Some spouses believe they can come to an agreement without the help of a judge but end up disagreeing on one or more key issues. In this situation, the divorce is considered contested.
Getting a Divorce in California
Like most states, California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that the spouse asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse is at fault for any particular issues. In order to get a divorce in California, the spouse asking for the divorce must simply state that the couple cannot get along, which is known in legal terms as “irreconcilable differences.” Keep in mind that there are certain residency requirements for California divorces. In order to file for divorce in the state of California, either you or your spouse must have lived in California for six months and in the county where you plan to file your divorce case for at least three months prior to filing.
Uncontested Divorce Forms in California
The specific forms you need to complete your case and finalize your divorce depend on whether the respondent (the opposite of the spouse who filed the divorce petition) in the case filed a response to the petition and whether you and your spouse have an agreement about ending your marriage, child custody and visitation, support issues and how to divide your property and debt. To ensure that you fill out the right forms for your specific circumstances, it is a good idea to consult a divorce lawyer who has experience handling divorce cases like yours in California. Keep in mind that after you start your case and file your divorce papers in court, you are not done. There are a number of other forms you have to fill out and file with the court before your divorce can be finalized, even if you and your spouse already have a written agreement detailing the terms of your divorce. All California courts use the same basic set of divorce forms. However, some courts have other, local forms, as well. The two basic categories of divorce forms in California are forms to start a divorce and forms to complete your preliminary disclosure.
Forms to Start a Divorce
- Petition (form FL-100) – In order to start the divorce process, you must file a petition for divorce with the court.
- Summons (form FL-110) – A summons notifies your spouse that a court case has been initiated and what will happen if he or she does not respond to the petition within 30 days.
- Proof of Service of Summons (form FL-115) – This form tells the court that you had the papers served on your spouse.
- Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (form FL-105/GC-120) – This form tells the judge who your children have been living with and if any other custody orders exist that apply to your case.
- Child Custody and Visitation Application Attachment (form FL-311) – This form isn’t mandatory but may help ensure that you don’t leave anything out of your request.
- Property Declaration (form FL-160) – This form includes details about each item of property and debt and whether you believe it is separate or community property.
Forms to Complete Your Preliminary Disclosure
- Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-140) – This is a cover sheet listing all of the attachments included with your preliminary disclosure.
- Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150) – This form provides the court and your spouse with information about your finances.
- Schedule of Assets and Debts (form FL-142) or Property Declaration (form FL-160) – These forms require you to list your property and debts. You can choose to file either form.
- Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-141) – This form notifies the court that you have sent your disclosure documents to your spouse as required.
How an Experienced Uncontested Divorce Lawyer Can Help
The purpose of the various forms you are required to file in a divorce case is to ensure that each spouse provides the other with accurate information about their property, assets and debts, and the court with information about any orders you are requesting, including orders detailing your decisions about child custody, spousal support and other important matters. There are many forms to fill out in a California divorce case, even in uncontested divorces, and the process can get extremely complicated, especially if you want to include child custody orders, support orders and/or orders dividing your property. The best way to handle an uncontested divorce and ensure that you file the right divorce forms, on time and in the right court, is to enlist the help of a knowledgeable California divorce lawyer. Our divorce lawyers at (619) Divorce have represented clients in uncontested divorce cases for more than 10 years and we are committed to helping you get the best outcome in your case.
Contact Our California Uncontested Divorce Lawyers Today
Uncontested divorces tend to be less stressful and traumatic than contested divorces and the majority of divorces in the United States are uncontested, likely for this reason. However, even if your spouse does not want to get a divorce, he or she cannot stop the process by refusing to participate in the case. In this situation, the court will issue “default” judgment and will most likely grant you whatever you are asking for. After you decide to end your marriage, you will want to plan your case ahead of time and think about how you will handle any issues that arise throughout the duration of your case. Getting a divorce can be expensive, time-consuming and emotionally draining, but by planning ahead and talking to a divorce lawyer, you can save yourself a great deal of time, money and frustration as you go through the divorce process. Our California divorce lawyers at (619) Divorce know how to determine what type of divorce to pursue and can guide you through each step of the divorce process, from filing the necessary divorce forms to getting the divorce finalized by the court. Contact our law firm today to speak with an experienced San Diego divorce lawyer about your case.