Uncontested Divorce in California

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California in the USA has a shocking divorce rate. Every three marriages out of four end in divorce; that is, around 75% of the married couples have to pass through the tough phase. It is really unfortunate to know that the rate is skyrocketing in this state. One might think that more often young people are getting separated in the state; but this is not true. Senior citizens who have spent decades together are filing for divorces. Again married partners who have successfully built their business together want to split from each other. Examples of uncontested divorce in California are abundant. Many married partners agree on all issues, find solution on their own, and requests a divorce order from the court.

When you decide to get separated from your partner through an uncontested divorce in California, you need to know what the process means. The basic procedures of an uncontested process do not vary greatly from one state to another in the US. Yet it is better to be familiar with the state procedures and requirements.

What is an uncontested divorce?

When you file for an uncontested case in California, you must have all the ongoing issues clear with your partner. Both of you need to agree on certain terms like how the property will be divided, how the financial responsibilities will be shared between you and your spouse, who will have the child custody and child support, etc.

According to the California law, whatever may be the type of your case, you have to go through a set of procedures. While getting married, you had followed certain legal procedures, and while ending it also you have to follow the relevant legal processes. Even in an uncontested case, you need the permission of the court to end the marriage. If you want to remarry, you must have a copy of the decree granting the dissolution of marriage.

Steps for an Uncontested Divorce in California

  • The petitioner files a petition requesting the court to offer a divorce
  • The petitioner notifies the other partner that he or she has filed a case. This is referred to as the Summons-Family Law, which is inclusive of a response form.
  • A declaration of finances must be filed
  • A hearing date is scheduled
  • The separating partners remain present at the hearing before the judge
  • The judge signs a judgment that finalizes the case
  • None of the partners have to attend the hearing, if both agree to do so

Forms associated with Uncontested Divorce in California

In each and every case, it is compulsory to fill the Petition completely. The Petition includes the following details:

  • Names of the Petitioner and Respondent
  • Date of marriage
  • Date of separation
  • Names of minor children
  • Declaration of community and quasi-community debts and assets

If the divorcing couple has written a Marital Settlement Agreement (MSA), it should be attached to the Petition. In case the divorcing couple has minor children, then the UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act) declaration must be attached to the Petition.

The Summons-Family Law can be also called as the Notice of Service of Process. It has the following features:

  • It is an evidence of service
  • The mode of service to the Respondent is mentioned in it
  • It offers 30 days to the Respondent to give a response
  • It states that if the Respondent fails to respond in the specified period, it would result in a default judgment against the Respondent.
  • It prohibits both divorcing spouses from dissipating marital assets and removing minor children from the state.

Some other forms are as follows

  • Stipulation to establish or modify Child Support and Order: Parents use this form to create or alter the terms of child support that is paid to the custodial parent by the non-custodial parent.
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment: This form indicates the date when the judgment was passed to terminate the marital status.
  • Judgment: The petitioner prepares this form and attaches the parenting plan, the child support order and the MSA. This form bears the proof of the dissolution of marriage.

Once you get a clear idea of all the procedures and requirements, you can represent yourself in the court, without the help of an attorney. But this is advisable only when you find it hard to pay attorney's fees. Otherwise you can take the help of different divorce guides provided by different legal institutions or download the forms and other paperwork to be done essentially.

We are sure after going through the brief overview of uncontested divorce in California, many of your questions are answered properly. So go ahead with this knowledge.

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