Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

Uncontested divorce in California

Uncontested divorce in California is a no-fault divorce that is possible without going to the court or hiring lawyers. It is quicker, less expensive and easy as compared to contested divorce and based on irreconcilable differences between spouses. Sometimes, divorce is also granted in California on grounds of deadly mental illness.

In California uncontested divorce, the assets and liabilities are either community property or separate property. That means half of the property belongs to one spouse and other half is the marital home obtained during marriage. While separate property means gifts and inheritance that belongs to only one spouse.

How to file California uncontested divorce?

To file an uncontested divorce in California, the applicant has to contact the family law or domestic relations clerk. The divorce petition is filed in the superior court of the county of residence of the couple. Both the spouses file a joint petition for summary dissolution of marriage to get California uncontested divorce. For this, it is very necessary for one of the spouses to be a resident of California for at least six months and three months in the county where the divorce is filed.

After filing the divorce petition, a six-month waiting period has to be followed to answer it, before the divorce becomes final. A declaration of finances is made and a hearing date is obtained. After attending the hearing, the court grants the divorce. If both spouses agree on matters like: asset and liability division, terms and conditions of child custody, support and visitation, alimony, etc. there is no need to appear at the divorce hearing.

What are the requirements to file an uncontested divorce in California?

  • First, read the entire summary dissolution booklet provided by the court clerk.
  • It is essential to be married for five or fewer years.
  • No children born to the couple before or during the marriage and no adopted children.
  • Wife must not be pregnant.
  • Neither spouse may have an interest in real estate.
  • The community property should not be worth more than $25,000. This does not include car and car loans.
  • The community debts are less than $5,000 that does not include car and car loans.
  • An agreement dealing with terms and conditions of the division of possessions and debts has to be signed by both the spouses.
  • A joint petition for summary dissolution of marriage has to be signed by both the spouses.
  • The reason to end the marriage should be serious and permanent differences between the spouses.
  • It is necessary for both the spouses to agree the use of summary dissolution than regular dissolution.

Sometimes, the respondent does not answer the divorce petition or it is difficult to locate the respondent. In such cases, declaration of default is made to achieve an uncontested divorce in California. Besides, documents, forms and court papers need to be filed by the applicant as per the situations to get California uncontested divorce to settle the legal matters.

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