How to obtain an uncontested divorce in California
There are no winners in a contested family law proceeding. Arguing in court over custody, support or property is emotionally taxing and greatly increases the cost of your divorce. Whenever possible, couples should commit to the uncontested divorce process, outlined here:
- File a petition for divorce citing irreconcilable differences.
- Serve your spouse with a summons and the petition.
- File a declaration of finances.
- After your spouse files a response, obtain a hearing date.
- Work with your attorney to negotiate a marital settlement agreement with your spouse and opposing counsel.
- At your hearing, present marital settlement agreement to the judge for approval.
If your marital settlement is legally sound, the court will approve the document and use it as the basis for its divorce decree. The terms of your settlement then become legally enforceable.
Summary dissolution of marriage in California
Uncontested divorce is not the quickest and easiest method for dissolving a marriage. California has an expedited form called summary divorce, available to couples who meet the following requirements:
- You have read the Summary Dissolution Booklet provided by the court clerk.
- You were married for five or fewer years.
- You have no children born to you or adopted, and the wife is not pregnant.
- Neither spouse may have an interest in real estate.
- Your community property is not worth more than $25,000, excluding cars.
- Your community obligations are less than $5,000, excluding car loans.
- Both spouses have prepared and signed a marital settlement agreement.
- Both spouses have signed a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage.
- Spouses agree to no-fault grounds of irreconcilable differences.
- Spouses agree to summary dissolution.
It is rarely easy to avoid going to court over your divorce. That is why it is imperative that you hire a skilled attorney to guide you through the process. We have the knowledge and experience to help you achieve your goals for divorce.