The 10 Steps In An Uncontested Divorce

uncontested divorce
It's Over Easy

By It's Over Easy | Jan 14th, 2020

Here is a review of the ten steps required to obtain an uncontested divorce in the state of California.

READ MORE: Worthy’s Complete Guide To Divorce In California

Step 1. The Petitioner

The Petitioner, or person who will be filing the divorce court case, decides:

Step 2. Communicating With Your Spouse

Am I able to communicate with my spouse to try and figure out an agreement about the terms of our divorce or legal separation?

Step 3. Completing The Forms

The petitioner (the person who will file) completes all the required forms. You can easily download all the forms.

Step 4. The Petitioner Files their court forms

This means taking the forms to the courthouse and giving them to a court clerk who will then put the forms in a file that will begin the case. They will then stamp the photocopies as ‘filed’. Note that there is a filing fee to file the court forms.But if you cannot afford the fees, you can apply for a fee waiver.

Step 5. Copies Of The Court Forms

A legal adult (18 and older) who is not involved in the case, serves the respondent, or other spouse, copies of the court forms. This is because when a lawsuit is filed the person being sued (the respondent) has a right to be notified about it. This is called “service of process” and needs to be done with enough time for the respondent to go to court to tell the judge their side of the story before they make a decision. The person who served the copies to the respondent must fill out a form called “proof of service” that shows they have given the correct forms to the respondent in the correct way. The petitioner will then file the proof of service form with the court clerk

Step 6. The respondent decides to handle the case

The respondent will decide if they would want to file a response with the court. If they do not, then the judge will decide how to end the marriage without hearing the respondent’s side.Or, they can try to work out an agreement with the petitioner about the terms of the divorce. If there is domestic violence in the relationship please proceed differently*

Step 7. In the case of a respondent filing a response

If the respondent chooses to file a response, they need to complete the proper forms and then file them with the court clerk.

They will have 30 days to file their court divorce forms after being served the petitioner’s paperwork

The respondent will file the papers at court and will have to pay the filing fee

Step 8. Respondent’s Court Forms Are Served

A legal adult (18 and older) who is not involved in the case, serves the petitioner a copy of the respondent’s court forms.

The person who served the court divorce forms will fill out a “proof of service” to show they have given the correct forms in the right way. Then the respondent will file that proof of service form with the court clerk

Step 9. Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure

Each side will exchange financial documents that declare what they own and owe. This process is called “preliminary declaration of disclosure”

This disclosure will help both parties involved in the divorce divide their property and debt

Step 10. Court Approval

The court approves and signs a judgment to let a couple become divorced or legally separated. The terms of the divorce is part of the judgment and is dependent on whether the respondent filed a response or whether the couple can reach a mutual agreement about the terms.

Step 11. Read Up!

Read It Doesn’t Have To Be That Way: How To Divorce Without Destroying Your Family Or Bankrupting Yourself by it’s over easy founder LauraWasser.

You’ll laugh at the funny things she writes and you’ll be better prepared for what’s ahead of you as you navigate your divorce online.

Originally published on It’s Over Easy.

It's Over Easy

It's Over Easy

it’s over easy is an easy-to-use online divorce platform founded by high profile Family Law attorney, Laura A. Wasser. It’s Over Easy helps couples file for uncontested divorce amicably, while saving you time and money.


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