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Do It Yourself Divorce in California

Do It Yourself Divorce in California


A Do It Yourself Divorce in California Guide


If you’re living in California and want a divorce, know this: there are appropriate steps that need to be taken.


A Divorce Petition


Typically, a do it yourself divorce in CA involves what many may know as a ‘divorce petition.’ It’s essentially a document that can be found in a legal aid service and is typically used by divorce lawyers. However, anyone can find this document and fill it out. The spouse filling out the document would be known as the Petitioner, and the other spouse who will receive the document would be known as the Respondent.


In addition, a copy of the petition is also sent to the county court.


What Is Included in a Divorce Petition?


What’s included in any do it yourself divorce in California are these specific points of detail: the husband’s name, the wife’s name, the name(s) of the child/children, the name(s) of separate properties as well as stipulations on a recommendation for child support, custody, and even alimony when applicable.


Steps Toward Serving the Petition


Once all of that is filled out on a petition for a do it yourself divorce in CA, the “service of process” begins. That simply means the Petitioner must hand-deliver the “divorce papers” to the Respondent. The question is then posed to the Respondent as to whether or not to sign the papers. If signing, the petition proceeds into the court system. If not – or if the Petitioner can’t even locate the Respondent – either a default is ordered on the petition or the Petitioner can hire a professional server to deliver the papers officially.


Once the Petition Is Served….


Upon the signing of the divorce papers, a waiting period is then ordered by the court to establish certain guidelines: automatic restraining orders on both spouses, including an order to prohibit taking any children out of state as well as the sale or borrowing against of property obtained during the marriage. Additionally, neither spouse may borrow or sell insurance.


However, a Respondent may file what is commonly known as a “response” to the petition during this time to either officially agree or disagree with a part of the petition or the entire petition. If this “response” is to agree on everything, it may make the petition move a lot quicker and never even reach a courtroom.


However, if a Respondent disagrees with even a part of the petition….


What Happens When One Spouse Doesn’t Agree With the Terms of the Divorce?


A do it yourself divorce in California often involves disputes on many issues: such as child support, custody, property distribution, alimony, or even the divorce itself. Yes, even a Respondent can contest the divorce with the intent of staying married.


A court hearing is established to deliberate on any issue presented, either by a lawyer or by the Respondent himself or herself. From there, a case proceeds into the waiting period as already established.


Once the waiting period ends, in a do it yourself divorce in CA, the court decides on a final judgment for divorce after considering all the evidence, stipulations, and any other necessary pieces of information.