Summary Dissolution Summary dissolutions are a simpler way to get divorced for married couples and registered domestic partners.
California Divorce Mediation
Spousal or Partner Support Learn about spousal or partner support, how to ask for it, how to respond to a request, how to change or end an order, how to pay an order, or how to collect on a court order. Annulments Learn how to end a marriage or domestic partnership by asking for an annulment. Couples married for less than 5 years, that do not have children, do not owe or own much and agree on how they will divide their belongings can use a shortened process to handle their divorce called a Summary Dissolution. This process is not available for dissolution of domestic partnerships.
A Legal Separation does not legally end the marriage or domestic partnership, but allows for persons to live apart and make their own decisions about money, property and parenting issues.
Sometimes people choose this option for religious reasons or due to insurance or other benefits. Persons are not free to marry again, but they may ask the court for orders such as for division of debts, property, custody and support. There are no residency requirements to file for Legal Separation in California. In a nullity or annulment, the court ends the marriage or domestic partnership by saying it was not legal from the beginning. The court declares the marriage or domestic partnership void because of force, fraud, bigamous or incestuous relationship, physical or mental incapacity or because one partner was too young to legally marry.
Divorce or Separation
The court will make final decisions regarding how the couple will divide what they owe, divide property, determine whether one person will receive financial support from the other and make other orders on related issues. A nullity establishes that a marital status or domestic partnership never existed. Either partner can decide to end the marriage. The partner who does not want to get a divorce cannot stop the process by refusing to participate in the case.
If a Domestic Partnership has not been registered with the State of California or another state, you cannot file for a Dissolution of Domestic Partnership with the Court. Also, at least one of the parties has to have lived in California for the past 6 months.
The six months is counted from the date that the partner who started the divorce had the other served with the Petition for Dissolution and the Summons OR when the other spouse responded filed their first paper , whichever is earlier. There are several forms to be completed and additional steps to be taken before a Judge will consider a Judgment.
We perform clerically administrative functions such as requests for copy work, schedule dates on the courtroom calendars based on availability, accept payment for filing documents and fees and process other documents such as appeals, transfers, writs, abstracts and stipulated judgments. The triage clerk will be asking questions to determine the priority of the filings and to save you time if you are not in the correct filing location or if your forms are not yet complete.
You will be issued a number to wait in line. Monday through Friday excluding court holidays. When visiting our facility, be prepared to pay for parking and allow sufficient time as you will be required to go through weapon screening before entering the building. Recording devices, including cameras are prohibited and you will not be allowed to bring them into the building. The court accepts cash, check, credit card or money orders as methods of payment. The fee for filing a new case will vary depending on case type. Please refer to the Uniform Filing Fee Schedule posted on our website.
Court forms may be obtained, free of charge, through our website or from the onsite public computers at the Self-Help Center. You may also choose to use the I-CAN! The list of documents that have been filed on your case, party and hearing information can be viewed on our court public website case information link. NOTE: You must have a written order from the judge in order to view sealed or confidential records.
Paternity files are confidential by law and only parties to the case with valid identification or an approved signed order of the court will be allowed to view a Paternity case. Family Law cases opened in or later may be searched at the Lamoreaux Justice Center.
You may request copies by mail or in person. Failure to respond will not stop the marriage from being dissolved; it simply means that you will lose your right to voice your opinion, make arguments, and have a say in how the divorce occurs. Instead of defaulting in your divorce, you should contact an experienced attorney for help responding if a petition to end your marriage has been filed.
California Divorce Process Explained (Step by Step Guide) - eDivorce
The Judicial Branch of California indicates that a true default occurs when a spouse who is served with divorce papers does not respond and the couple does not have a written agreement in place dictating the terms of a divorce settlement. A true default in California divorce proceedings is considered to have occurred when there is no agreement in place and more than 30 days have passed since the petition and summons was served. In cases of a true default, the spouse who filed for divorce will need to complete forms including a request to enter default, as well as a declaration for default.
Both a judgment form, and a notice of entry of judgment form, must also be completed.
There may be additional forms to fill out as well, including forms asking for a custody order, child support, spousal support, and forms related to the division of community property. The court will review the forms and will then move forward to dissolve the marriage. The spouse who did not respond to the divorce petition will lose the opportunity to make arguments related to custody, support, and how assets are divided.