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Steps for Uncontested Divorce Filing Process in California

Updated: Feb 3

The decision to get a divorce is always tough. It is not an overnight process and requires mental strength and stamina. The process of divorce in California could be time-consuming and intricate. It is a procedure involving long-winded rules, documentation, and legalese. This can make it seem quite confusing to the layperson. It might also appear to be a tedious and draining process, as a result. Navigating through a divorce, especially keeping the best interests of children in mind, can be somewhat challenging. In this context, learning about the process makes it much easier to walk through the process.


To get a divorce in California, the couple must have either of the following:

Either of the parties should have been a California resident for 6 months.

Either of the parties has resided for 3 months before filing a divorce in the county where the divorce petition is filed.


California laws do not require to prove wrongdoings of either of the parties to get a divorce. It also allows the couple to get a divorce with either one of them disagreeing with the terms. The minimal time required to see divorce through in California is 6 months.


Here are the steps to follow in the process of filing an uncontested divorce in California:


Divorce Filing Preparation: It is necessary to decide if divorce is right for the concerned individual. And to determine if you will need to retain expensive attorneys to litigate the divorce in a court or if you plan to secure the assistance of an experienced mediator to facilitate the process outside of the courtroom.


Divorce Filing: This is the paperwork process mapping out the procedure to file a divorce. It gives insight into what are Summons, Petitions, and other court-mandated forms. In addition, the court filing fee is $435.


Serve the Divorce Papers: This process requires serving the filed documents to the other party involved in the divorce by a third-party adult.


Response to the Divorce: This step includes guidance in your Response to the service. It involves where to file the papers, the cost to Response, how to serve the Response, and the role of the Court for further proceedings.


Financial Disclosure: It is a set of forms that detail the income, debts, assets, and expenses of each party.


Negotiate a Settlement Agreement: After financial disclosures are made. Both parties will negotiate the terms of the settlement with the assistance of the mediator. After an agreement is reached then a written agreement will be drafted called a Marital Settlement Agreement.


Submit all final paperwork to the court: After the Marital Settlement Agreement is drafted, it is reviewed by both parties and notarized. Then the final paperwork along with the settlement agreement is submitted to the court to be reviewed and approved by a Judge. This process usually takes 6-8 weeks. Once approved the court will issue a date when the divorce will take affect and become final.


No two divorces are the same. Not all couples looking forward to the divorce may need to go through all the mentioned steps. Some could be even easier. However, it is essential to make the right decisions in a divorce to ensure a fair outcome in the long run.

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