To file for divorce in Merced County, you or your spouse need to:
- Be California residents for at least 6 months.
- Reside in Merced County for a minimum of 3 months.
If you have children and ask the court to issue custody and child support orders, make sure California is a home state for your kids. It will likely be enough for them to live in the state continuously for 6 months before you initiate a court proceeding involving them.
Before you file, it is important to try reaching an agreement as long as your relationship allows you to do it. If it is an option, and there is nothing to dispute, your divorce will be uncontested. The fact that you reached an agreement will help to shorten the court process, lower the cost, and make the outcome more predictable.
To file for an uncontested divorce in Merced County, you need to take the following steps:
- Obtain and fill out family law forms, both mandatory and case-specific. You may review the forms you might need in the section below.
- File the dated and signed documents with the county clerk. Pay the fee for filing and take the copies of the papers you submitted.
- Ask an adult family member or a friend to complete the process of service. They can hand-deliver or mail the copies and additional forms to your spouse.
- File the Proof of Service filled out by a server with the court. Your spouse will have to complete and file the additional forms you provided them with and serve you after.
- Exchange the financial forms with your spouse as a part of a disclosure process. Once you do, submit the Declaration proving that to the court.
- Give the forms required to finalize your case to the clerk. After the judge signs the Judgement, you and your spouse will receive the copies.
- Exchange the financial forms one more time or waive this process by filing the respective form. Your dissolution of marriage will be final at least 6 months after the first process of service is completed.
If none of the adults you know can give the paperwork to your spouse after you file it, you may hire a Merced County process server to do it for you. You will require their services a few times due to the mandatory disclosure of financial information.
Merced County Divorce Forms
Here is the list of the Merced County family law forms needed for filing a divorce:
- Declaration of Disclosure
- Separation Agreement
- Merced County Divorce Decree or Judgement
- Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution
- Notice of Entry of Judgement
- Proof of Service
- Property Declaration
- Declaration Regarding Service or Stipulation and Waiver
If you have children and they are minors, the list of divorce papers for Merced County will include:
- Declaration under UCCJEA
- Child Support Calculations
- Child Support Information and Order Attachment
- Child Support Case Registry Form
- Parenting Time Order Attachment
- Notice of Rights and Responsibilities
- Income and Expense Declaration
Note that none of these lists is full or final. There are a lot of forms required to divorce in California, and there is a separate selection of documents covering different types of cases. Moreover, certain county-specific forms may apply to your situation depending on whether you have kids or property, ask for alimony, request a division of community property or retirement accounts, and other factors.
Merced Superior Court Filing Fees
Filing for divorce in Merced County, you will have to pay the fee of $435. If it is too big for you to cover due to the low income, you may file a Request to Waive Court Fees. It will include details on your finances and spending and help the judge determine whether what you are asking for is reasonable.
In Merced County, California, a clerk of courts will be the one to accept your forms, assign a case number to your case, stamp the papers, and return the copies to you. However, they will not be able to give you legal advice in any form. You may only ask them questions related to court procedures and the case status.
Divorce Courts in Merced County, California
A family court in Merced County that reviews divorce cases is the Superior Court. You can find the contact information of Merced County courts for family law and the courthouse hours here:
Merced County, CA Divorce and Superior Court Information
Court Name: Merced County Superior Court
Court Title: In the Circuit Court of Merced County, Alabama
Circuit Court Location: 2260 N Street, Merced, California 95340
Court Phone: 209-725-4100
Court Fax: 209-725-4111
Court Hours: 8am – 4pm
Wondering who can help you fill out divorce papers for your case? We can! Take a minute to see if you can get your paperwork completed online by answering a few simple questions.