Divorce in California can be a difficult and confusing process. There are countless forms, rules, and procedures that must be followed. Knowing where you are in the process, and where you are going, can give you peace of mind and allow you to make logical, reasoned decisions about where to go.
Every divorce is unique; however, there are certain steps and processes everyone must go through. Read on for an overview of the 10 basic steps for the divorce process. Click here to view a visual roadmap.
Here are the 10 basic steps to a divorce in California:
- Step 1: Preparing to file for divorce [Click here for a pre-divorce check list]
- Step 2: Filing for divorce
- Step 3: Serving the Petition and Summons
- Step 4: Responding to the Petition
- Step 5: Temporary Orders
- Step 6: Financial Disclosures
- Step 7: Discovery
- Step 8: Settlement
- Step 9: Trial
- Step 10: Final Judgment
- *Optional Step 11: Post-Judgment Issues
If you’ve been married less than 5 years, don’t have many high-value assets, and don’t have children, you may qualify for a Summary Dissolution. Click here for more information: http://www.courts.ca.gov/documents/fl810.pdf
Residency Requirements for Divorce
1. You must have lived in California for at least six months immediately preceeding filing;
2. You must have lived in your county for at least three months immediately preceeding filing;
*If you don’t meet these requirements and still want to get divorced in the county, you can file for legal separation and amend to divorce once the residency requirements are met.
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