DIY Divorce in California Online

All legal douments for self divorce in California.

START NOW! HAVE YOUR DIVORCE PAPERS IN YOUR HANDS IN

20 MINUTES

Getting Started

How Does It Work?

In California, do it yourself divorce has become one of the most popular marriage dissolution options in the recent years. Why?

  • There is no need to hire lawyers
  • Everything is done online
  • It is quicker and cheaper than any alternatives

Yes, a DIY divorce is not just the easiest way to get a divorce in California, but also the most convenient one. There are just a few simple steps you need to take:

1

Answer a Few Questions

2

Download Filled-Out Divorce Forms

3

File the Paperwork

Steps for Initiating a DIY Divorce in California

Getting a divorce in California without a lawyer might feel like a risk. However, thousands of spouses do it every year, either by using online services or going fully DIY and getting no outside help. The main requirement for a do it yourself divorce in California is to reach a full agreement on childcare and finance-related issues. If you and your spouse are on the same side when it comes to them, you are free to start a marriage dissolution process.

Before you do, however, it is essential to understand steps to getting a divorce in California and potential pitfalls you might encounter. Although the process is simplified when it is amicable, it might not be as easy as you expected if you deal with the paperwork on your own. Let’s review the California divorce process step by step so that you can see it for yourself:

  • Ensuring a 6-months residency requirement is met by either spouse.
    Otherwise, it would not be possible for any of you to file in CA as the state would have no jurisdiction over your case.
  • Searching for up-to-date court-approved versions of legal forms online.
    While there are divorce documents available on different websites, determining if they are admissible in court will take time and a lot of research. Additionally, there is no guarantee you will get it right from the first try.
  • Checking if you have all the mandatory and case-specific paperwork.
    Not all the documents that look mandatory are such, and vice versa. The use of certain forms is circumstantial and depends not only on your family situation but also method of service and plenty of other factors.
  • Making sure you have properly interpreted the meaning of questions.
    Legal terminology is researchable, but it does not make it easier to understand what is asked of you sometimes. While you might take the risk and answer as you believe if right, a court clerk might not appreciate the try and will refuse to accept your documents if there are mistakes in them.
  • Adding the necessary attachments to the relevant documents.
    There are more than 50 potential forms and attachments to them that might be necessary to file. As everything is case-specific, you might discover you require additional paperwork to be added to your package, which is going to delay the filing process significantly.
  • Finding out which forms need to be notarized.
    Once you complete the paperwork, it is important to sign it. However, it might be necessary to do so in the presence of notary public. Make sure you do not sign anything before you check if notarization is required, as otherwise, you will have to fill out the forms again.

As it is unlikely that you work with divorce documents on a daily basis, it may take you quite some time to understand what forms suit your case and how to answer questions in them properly. Moreover, when the tiniest mistake might mean that your paperwork will not be accepted by the court and you will have to deal with legal forms all over again, it puts a lot of stress on you to do everything correctly from the first try.

If you are feeling overwhelmed and confused or would simply prefer to delegate the paperwork to professionals, our team is here to help. You only have to complete a quick questionnaire to get a full package of filled out divorce documents chosen specifically to suit your situation. Besides, it will only cost you $139, and you will receive your papers in just a few days along with the free instructions on how to file them with a court.

Divorce Forms

Finding divorce documents in California might be a struggle, especially if you are not 100% sure which ones are used in specific cases. Fortunately, you do not have to surf the Internet looking for blank divorce papers in pdf format as our team has already collected the necessary ones for the most common cases. Therefore, once you make sure you qualify to get a joint dissolution of marriage in California, you can pick the right forms for your situation, download divorce papers for free, print and fill them out, and submit the full package to your local court.

Here is the list of some of the do it yourself divorce papers you might need:

Note that a divorce petition in California can be of a few types. If you and your spouse have been married for less than 5 years, have no children and barely any assets or debts, you might qualify for getting a summary dissolution. In this case, you will be required to file a joint petition for divorce in California along with a few other documents. However, it is crucial that you familiarize yourself with the process before you initiate it to avoid potential difficulties.

Filling out the Divorce Documents

Filling out divorce papers in California, it is crucial to understand that you live in a community law state. This implies that everything you and your spouse have brought or otherwise acquired during marriage will be seen as your marital assets. Therefore, in California, DIY divorce would require you to consider their division. Of course, there are certain exceptions to this rule, as inheritance, gifts, and some other items will not be considered joint property. If any of you wishes to share them with the other, it would be your choice to make.

Overall, when filling out divorce forms, you will need to indicate:

  • Your, your spouse’s, and your kids’ (if any) personal information.
  • Employment details, addresses, and earnings.
  • Vehicle information and driver’s license number.
  • Custody, visitations, and parenting schedule.
  • Child support calculations, dates, and means of payment.
  • Spousal support sum and duration if asked for.
  • Decisions on asset and debt division.

Filing the Divorce Papers

How to apply for divorce in California?

  • Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork completed.
  • File for divorce in California court in the county where you reside.
  • Pay the filing fee of about $435.
  • Take the copies of the documents to serve them to your spouse.

Please note that there are specific rules for the service of process in different states. How to serve divorce papers in California? Get a person over 18 to:

  • Give paperwork to your ex in person.
  • Mail the copies of the documents to them.

Note that you will have to provide your spouse with a few additional papers to sign so that you can later file a confirmation with a court stating that you ex was notified about the marriage dissolution. A person helping you with the service will also have to fill out and submit a proof that they have delivered the paperwork to your spouse.

Additionally, you and your ex will have to exchange financial documents within no more than 2 months after the divorce is commenced. Although none of these will require court submission, it would still be necessary to provide court clerk with a proof that the disclosure of financial information has been completed.

As you can see, filing for divorce in California is an elaborate process, which you, however, will easily navigate with a guide we will send you for free if you decide to get online help with your paperwork. There will be a series of instructions guiding you each step of the way to ensure that you successfully initiate and finish your marriage dissolution.

Residency Requirements

Most states have quite specific residency requirements and California is not an exception. To file in CA, your or your ex should live in:

If you have recently moved to another county and do not yet meet residency requirements there, you may file in the one you have previously lived.

Waiting Periods and Timelines for California Divorce

In the best-case scenario, you will be granted a marriage dissolution 6 months after you inform your spouse that you initiated it. It is the bare minimum in California, and the timeline might increase as it is affected by court schedules and caseload, potential complications in your case, and other factors that are prone to change.