Divorce Guide

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California Divorce Petition

California divorce petition, also known as original petition form, is used by the parties residing in California to get divorce. To begin with the divorce, one of the spouses should file a petition. There are certain laws and rules of California which you should follow for filing the petition. The petition is to be filed in the superior court of California where the party resides.

The person filing divorce petition is called the petitioner and the person on whom the petition is served is known as the respondent. It is the duty of the petitioner to serve the divorce petition to the respondent to begin the divorce process soon. Divorce petition is the form given to the court requesting for starting the divorce process.

Before filing the California divorce petition, there are certain residential requirements which you must fulfill. Either you or your spouse must be residing in California for at least 6 months or in the county where the proceedings are going to take place for at least 3 months.

California is a no-fault state. It means court grants divorce to the parties who file for divorce on no-fault basis stating that the reason for their marriage breakdown is irreconcilable differences. The court also undertakes the fault grounds that are adultery, cruelty, impotency, imprisonment, drug addiction or mental health problem.

Filing divorce petition is a legal process. It is advisable to hire a lawyer who can assist you well in your case. Try to settle down the issues like child custody, child- support, alimony, property division and debt issues out of court. If all the issues are solved before the court hearing, you can file for uncontested divorce which can save your time and make your divorce faster. In case you file for contested divorce, the court will make decisions only when proper division of these issues is made.

Process of Filing California Divorce Petition:

Before filing the petition, get legally separated from your spouse. It means you are not supposed to share the bedroom or have sexual relation with your spouse. Legal separation is not necessary if you have filed for divorce on fault basis.

  • Locate the countyís court where you have to file the petition. You have to file the petition in the county where both of you reside. You can get the information of the countyís location from the cityís government webpage. Make sure you check the superior court of the county as most of the divorce cases are solved there.
  • Contact the courtís clerk where you are filing the divorce, get the information of filing necessary documents along with the petition form. You can be asked to attach the financial information form, marriage certificate and proof of grounds on which divorce case is filed.
  • If your divorce is uncontested, request the clerk for the paperwork for uncontested divorce.
  • Make a list of orders made on the temporary family issues. Once these orders are made, they remain the same until divorce is finalized.
  • Visit the family court with the petition form and necessary paperwork. Serve one copy of petition with the spouse. You have to pay necessary filing fees to the court. It can be $100 or more.

Once the petition is filled with necessary documents, wait for the courtís hearing stating that your divorce is finalized.

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