Uncontested Divorce Papers

Uncontested Divorce Papers

Information gathering and filing is of paramount importance in any divorce case, including uncontested divorces. After all, the information you provide to the court in your divorce case could be the deciding factor in who gets custody of your children and how your property is divided in divorce. If you are considering a divorce in California, there are a number of important issues you have to consider, namely how your property, assets and debts will be divided between you and your spouse, who will get custody of your children, if you have any, and who will pay child support and/or spousal support, and how much. Once your divorce case gets started, it can get complicatedly quickly, which is why your first step in initiating the divorce process or responding to a divorce petition should be to enlist the help of a qualified California divorce lawyer who is familiar with the process of preparing, filing and serving divorce papers. Even if your divorce is uncontested, meaning you and your spouse are in agreement about your divorce and how the aforementioned issues will be handled, you should have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side to help you with the uncontested divorce papers. Contact (619) Divorce today to schedule a free initial consultation with our knowledgeable California divorce lawyers.

Reputable Uncontested Divorce Lawyer in California

Some divorces in California are relatively straightforward. If the divorcing couple has no children, minimal shared assets and agrees that the marriage can’t be saved, the divorce process will likely proceed quickly and smoothly. Conversely, in cases where the divorcing couple has children together, shared or “community” property and significant assets or debts, the divorce process can get considerably more complicated. If the couple can agree on how to divide their marital property and handle child custody, child support, spousal support and other issues, the divorce can proceed as an uncontested case. However, if the couple is unable to come to an agreement on some or all of these issues, the divorce will be considered a contested case and can become far more complex. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, it is in your best interest to seek the help of a qualified California divorce lawyer who has experience handling divorce cases like yours. A knowledgeable divorce attorney can help you deal with the divorce paperwork and walk you through the uncontested divorce process so you understand what to expect in terms of how long the case may take, what it will cost you and what exactly you are agreeing to.

Filing Divorce Papers

California is a “no-fault” divorce state, which means a spouse who wishes to pursue a divorce is not required to prove that the other spouse is at fault for any particular issue. If you want to pursue a divorce in California, you must simply file a petition for divorce, also known as a complaint, with the court. The divorce petition is a legal document that informs the court of your desire to end your marriage, and filing the petition signals the initiation of the divorce process. After filing the petition for divorce, the petition must be “served,” or legally delivered, on your spouse, which serves as his or her notice that the divorce process has been initiated.

Contents of the Divorce Petition

When you file a petition for a divorce in the state of California, depending on the specific circumstances of your case, you will be required to provide some or all of the following information:

  • Your name and the name of your spouse,
  • The status of your legal relationship,
  • Acknowledgement that you and/or your spouse have been a resident of California for at least six months and of the United States for at least three months prior to filing the petition,
  • The date of your marriage and how long you have been married,
  • Details about any minor children,
  • The legal grounds for divorce, and
  • Declaration or request for orders involving child custody and visitation, child support, spousal support, separate property and community property

Where to File Divorce Papers in California

Once you are ready to start your divorce case, you will have to file the divorce papers with the right court, based on the county of your residence and the county of your spouse’s residence. Under California law, either you or your spouse must have lived in the state for six months and in the county where you plan to file your case for at least three months in order to fulfill the state residency requirements. A California divorce lawyer can file the divorce papers for you so you can make sure your case is filed in the right county and avoid encountering any problems that could delay your divorce.

Responding to the Divorce Petition

If your spouse files a petition for divorce, California law dictates that you must respond to the petition within 30 days of being served.

  • If more than 30 days have passed since your spouse served the divorce petition and you did not file a response, nor do you have a written divorce agreement with your spouse, the case is considered a “true default” case. That means you are essentially giving up your right to have any say in your divorce case and whatever your spouse is asking for will most likely be granted.
  • If you did not file a response but the two of you have a written notarized agreement where you both agree to end your marriage and you also agree about how you plan to divide your property and handle child custody and support and other issues, the case is considered a “default case with written agreement.”
  • If you filed a response to the divorce petition and you and your spouse have a written notarized agreement about your divorce and any issues, the case is considered an “uncontested” divorce. In this situation, you and your spouse are agreeing to the terms of your divorce and are not fighting over any issues, which means the case does not have to go before a judge.

Finalizing an Uncontested Divorce

Once the spouse asking for the divorce, known as the petitioner, has completed the required steps and the other spouse, known as the respondent, is prepared to complete the case by default or uncontested process, additional paperwork must be completed and filed before the divorce can be finalized. For an uncontested divorce with a written agreement in place, either the petitioner or the respondent will be required to turn in the final forms to the court asking for a judgment of divorce and will also have to include any other orders they are asking the court for, such as child custody, child support, spousal support and property division. Once the required divorce forms are completed and turned into the court clerk, the judge will issue a final judgment. At the end of the divorce case, both spouses may have to complete a final Declaration of Disclosure, which are detailed financial statements listing all income, expenses, assets and debts. Once the disclosure forms are prepared and served on the other spouse, the form called “Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure” must be filled out and filed with the court.

How a Knowledgeable California Divorce Lawyer Can Help

Anyone considering divorce in California should have a clear understanding of the divorce process and how the court handles divorce cases. Even if you are familiar with the process of getting a divorce in California, the best way to ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible is to hire a reputable California divorce lawyer with experience handling divorce and family law cases like yours. Once your divorce case is initiated, there will be many forms to fill out and important factors to consider and it can get extremely complicated, especially if your case includes child custody orders, child support orders, spousal support orders and/or orders dividing your property. Keep in mind that how you proceed with your divorce case can have a significant impact on how easy and stress-free the process is and how much it ends up costing you. That is why we always recommend seeking legal advice from a reputable California divorce lawyer who can review your divorce papers and ensure that the terms you are agreeing to are fair and equitable, even if your divorce is uncontested.

Consult Our California Divorce Lawyers Today

The decisions made in your divorce case can affect you for the rest of your life, especially if child custody, child support, spousal support and property division are at issue, which is why you should take steps to ensure that your rights and best interests are protected throughout the process, even if your divorce is amicable and uncontested. An experienced divorce lawyer can guide you through each step of the California divorce process, from filing or responding to a petition for divorce to filling out the necessary paperwork and getting the divorce finalized. The state of California is fairly accommodating when it comes to completing and filing divorce paperwork, but it’s not always easy knowing exactly what you should be writing on those lines, especially when it comes to your property and custody of your children. If you are even the least bit unsure, consult a California divorce lawyer to help you with your uncontested divorce papers and any other part of the divorce process.