Wondering how to file a divorce and where to begin? Choosing the right divorce process is very important if you want to go through the experience as painless as possible. In this article, we will talk about the necessary steps you need to take to finish the divorce process correctly.
Preparing the Forms
If you want to start the divorce process without a lawyer, you will need to find and complete all the necessary forms by yourself. The good news is you can obtain these forms online on the California Courts website, and here you can also find instructions for each form in video and PDF format.
All California courts use the same primary forms, but there may be some additional forms required depending on where you live. You can find out whether there are any required additional forms in your particular courthouse on the website, too.
The Los Angeles Superior Court Website is an excellent place to learn what to expect. It provides links for all the local forms required by Los Angeles County judges.
When completing the forms, make sure you give detailed answers to all the questions asked. If you can, fill out the forms on a computer.
Filing the Forms
Once you feel you are ready, visit your local courthouse and ask to submit the divorce documents. The minimum of materials needed to file for divorce is the summons, petition, and in case you have children, the Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act.
Unless you complete a Request to Waive Court Fees, you will need to pay the necessary fee. If the court decides to grant your request and that you are unable to pay the fee, you won’t have to pay to file the documents.
Once you give the documents to the clerk, they will stamp them, and you will receive copies.
Serving the Forms
You should serve your spouse with the documents immediately after you’ve prepared and filed them. It is imperative that everyone knows what’s going on, and the service of process is critical in the legal system. Your spouse has to have their opportunity to “appear” or, in some cases, argue their point of view.
The service of the process makes sure that no one, not even your spouse, is ever ambushed in the courtroom.
If your spouse hasn’t hired a lawyer, then you should serve the forms to them directly. If your spouse has retained a lawyer, you will need to serve the lawyer at the lawyer’s office.
Once the divorce process begins, you will have to provide information about your financial status to the court and your spouse. You will need to complete the Declaration of Disclosure and either the Financial Statement or the Income and Expense Declaration. You will also need to complete forms regarding assets and debts, and a proof of service.
The documents in question detail each spouse’s financial situation, from employment status to liabilities and assets to monthly expenses.
Obtaining a lawyer or an advisor with years of experience in family law will make the whole divorce process more pleasant for you. Divorce isn’t easy, but with professionals at your side, it will be bearable. Contact Platinum Paralegals for more information.