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Find a happier ending at Divorce.comTM Save time, money, and stress, guided by the most experienced team in online divorce

Our online divorce solution launched the industry
SaveYou can save thousands over the typical divorce process
OverMore than 22 years and over 800,000 customers served
No one-size-fits-all plan— you choose the tools you need
Benefits of 
an online divorce

Benefits of an online divorce

Why Choose Divorce.com?

Divorce.com offers a convenient tool to prepare all the necessary documents for an uncontested case without any hassle. It saves time, money, and energy that soon-to-be ex-spouses can put to better use.

By choosing Divorce.com, you can get personalized forms for your situation and fill them out easily, following all local requirements. There’s no need to hire an expensive attorney or worry about complex terminology. With Divorce.com, spouses can do everything themselves even if they have no legal background.

The platform works on any device and is available anytime and anywhere. You only need an internet connection.

  • Answer the questionnaire whenever you want, pausing and returning to it at your convenience.
  • Make unlimited changes and edit your answers to ensure accuracy before submitting.
  • Within two business days, download completed forms in a PDF format which can be printed in seconds and follow easy step-by-step filing instructions.

With Divorce.com, you’re one step closer to a happier life!

California divorce forms

California Divorce Forms

The legal paperwork spouses must prepare for a California divorce depends on the type of procedure. The list of basic forms for an uncontested divorce may include but is not limited to:

  • Form FL-100: Petition — Marriage/Domestic Partnership
  • Form FL-110: Summons (Family Law)
  • Form FL-105: Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (if spouses have minor children)
  • FL-311: Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time) Application Attachment (if spouses have minor children)
  • Form FL-115: Proof of Service of Summons
  • Form FL-140: Declaration of Disclosure
  • Form FL-150: Income and Expense Declaration
  • Form FL-142: Schedule of Assets and Debts / Form FL-160: Property Declaration
  • Form FL-141: Declaration Regarding Service
  • Form FL-180: Judgment
  • Form FL-120: Response — Marriage/Domestic Partnership (for the other spouse to respond)
  • Form FL-130: Appearance, Stipulations, and Waivers
  • Form FL-170: Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution or Legal Separation
  • Form FL-190: Notice of Entry of Judgment

In addition, couples filing for an uncontested divorce must draft a Marital Settlement Agreement.

Spouses may also need to prepare additional forms if required by the particular circumstances of their divorce or the unique laws and regulations of their county.

Divorce forms preparation

Divorce forms preparation

How to Fill Out Divorce Forms in California

Filling out the forms is one of the most complex and time-consuming steps in a divorce. However, spouses can partially simplify this task by following the short plan below.

  • Read the forms and their instructions.
  • Research legal terms and get familiar with California Family Law regulations.
  • Collect all the necessary documents and information needed to complete the forms.
  • Discuss the divorce terms with the other spouse so there are no disagreements.
  • Fill out the forms, checking the boxes and specifying answers where necessary.
  • Re-read the completed forms, checking them for errors, typos, and incorrect data.

The last point is extremely important because if the clerk finds even one mistake in the paperwork, they can reject it, and spouses will have to fill out their documents again.

When your divorce documents are completed and verified, they must be signed, preferably in blue ink.

As an alternative to such a lengthy and troublesome process, spouses can use Divorce.com.

This platform allows spouses to generate their paperwork effortlessly if they proceed with a peaceful divorce. All you need to do is answer our questionnaire, and you can download your completed documents from your account within 2 business days. Then, simply print, sign, and file them right away.

Filing for
Divorce in
California

Steps to Consider

Residency Requirements

Compliance with residency requirements is critical in a divorce case. Without it, California courts won’t have jurisdiction to hear the case.

To be eligible for marriage dissolution in California, one spouse must have resided in the state for six months and in the county where the spouses plan to file for three months before submitting documents to the court.

Spouses can initiate their case in any county where one of them meets the residency requirements.

Grounds for Divorce

As a no-fault state, California allows spouses to avoid the disclosure of marital misconduct. Instead, partners can state that their union is irremediably broken because of irreconcilable differences.

Another ground for a no-fault divorce in California is permanent legal incapacity. However, the filing spouse must prove (including competent psychiatric and medical evidence) that the second spouse lacks the legal capacity to make decisions.

Initial Filing

California Superior Courts and their branches in the respective counties review divorce cases. To initiate a divorce, spouses must file their Petition and Summons with the local court in the county where one of them fulfills residency requirements.

They can do it in person, by mail, or via the e-filing system if it is available in their county.

Spouses with minor kids need to provide Declaration Under UCCJE Act.

The petitioner must also make 2 copies of the documents.

Filing Fees

The сourt filing fee is a mandatory payment for filing a case. In California, it ranges from $435 to $450. Each petitioner must pay unless they qualify for a waiver.

The petitioner qualifies if

  • they receive public benefits;
  • their income, before taxes, is below a set amount; or
  • they can’t meet their basic needs and cover the court filing fees.

The filing spouse must prepare and file two documents:

  • Request to Waive Court Fees
  • Order on Court Fee Waiver
Serving the Respondent

In California, the filing spouse can’t deliver copies of documents to the respondent. They need to find a person over 18 and not a party to the case.

It can be someone they know, a county sheriff, or a professional process server. However, the latter two will charge a fee.

The petitioner must file the FL-115 form with the court as the acknowledgment of service.

The other spouse will have 30 days to respond.

Waiting Period

California has a mandatory waiting period of 6 months. The divorce can’t be finalized until this period ends.

The waiting period starts when copies of the Summons and Petition are served to the respondent or on the date of the respondent’s appearance, whichever happens first.

The local waiting period is longer than in many other states because California courts want to ensure that both spouses are truly committed to dissolving their marriage.

Finalizing a Divorce Case

Spouses in California have several options to finalize their case. If the respondent doesn’t answer the petition, the judge can grant a divorce by default. If they do and dispute it, the case becomes contested and goes to trial.

However, spouses often opt for an uncontested divorce with a Marital Settlement Agreement describing divorce arrangements. The couple provides their contract and additional documents to the judge, who may issue a divorce decree after consideration.

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Stars

I planned to hire an attorney to handle my divorce papers, but when I saw how much they charge per hour, I started looking for an alternative. I was lucky to find Divorce.com! I got the paperwork and filing instructions without hidden fees or additional unexpected costs!

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Stars

Divorce.com helped me generate divorce papers for my uncontested divorce without going anywhere. This online platform also gave me a clear guide on finalizing the process without hiring a divorce lawyer. Thanks to Divorce.com, I saved time and money!

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Stars

Easy-to-understand questionnaire, completed forms that meet local requirements, and clear instructions for filing in California. Thank you for making divorce paperwork preparation cost-effective and less stressful.

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Uncontested divorce 
in California

Uncontested Divorce in California

If both parties agree to end their marriage and resolve property division, child custody, child support, alimony, etc., out of court, their divorce becomes uncontested.

California allows spouses to file for a regular uncontested divorce or a summary dissolution. Both options imply that the spouses agree to the divorce and will sign a Marital Settlement Agreement. However, the latter has additional requirements:

  • The marriage lasted less than 5 years
  • Spouses have no minor children, and neither of them is pregnant
  • Spouses don’t own real estate
  • Neither party requests alimony
  • Spouses’ community and separate property isn’t worth more than $47,000 each (excluding cars)
  • Spouses don’t owe more than $6,000 in debt (excluding cars).

Both approaches save time, as the spouses avoid lengthy legal battles and money, given that they can proceed without lawyers. What’s more, couples can simplify their legal paperwork by using Divorce.com to generate forms cheap and fast.

Child custody

Getting a Divorce with Children in California

Child custody

Couples with minor children need to address custody issues if they file for divorce in California. The state provides parents with several options:

  • Joint legal custody, allowing both parents to make decisions regarding their child’s life
  • Sole legal custody, giving such a right to only one parent
  • Joint physical custody, meaning that the child will live with both parents
  • Sole physical custody, implying that the child lives with one parent and visits the other occasionally

The parent who has the children less than half of the time is eligible for visitation. In California, it can be scheduled, reasonable, and supervised. If visitation affects the child physically or emotionally, it can be canceled.

Parents filing for an uncontested divorce must resolve child custody issues out of court and provide the judge with a parenting plan for approval. If it’s fair and in the child’s best interests, the judge may grant the parents’ request.

If parents can’t agree, the judge will decide for them considering factors including the following:

  • The child’s health and age
  • The child’s ties to the school, home, and community
  • Each parent’s ability to care for the child
  • Emotional bonds between the child and the parents
  • Any history of domestic violence or substance abuse

The judge may also order parents to take special parenting courses.

Child Support

Child Support

Child support is another issue families with children must resolve. If they decide it themselves, they need to inform the judge about the arrangements reached and get court approval. Those who can’t settle this aspect of their divorce will have a hearing where the judge will decide.

To identify the amount of child support to be paid by one or both parents every month, the court uses California Guidelines.

Factors determining child support amount include but are not limited to the following:

  • Each parent’s income
  • Number of children in the marriage
  • Time each parent spends with their children
  • Each parent’s tax filing status
  • Children from other marriages and relationships to be supported
  • Health insurance expenses
  • Cost of sharing daycare; etc
Divorce Without a Lawyer in California

Divorce Without
a Lawyer
in California

Partners pursuing an uncontested divorce in California can proceed without hiring an attorney. Given that a local divorce attorney’s average hourly fee is $330 (sometimes skyrocketing to $500 or more), a lawyer-free divorce allows spouses to save thousands of dollars.

It also saves time, as spouses don’t need to adjust to the lawyer’s schedule and take time off to visit them.

Still, partners with no or limited legal background may experience some difficulties in preparing documents. Divorce.com is designed to eliminate these challenges.

Using this platform, you can select and fill out all the necessary forms independently, without a legal background. Our questionnaire is written in plain English, so you don’t need to rack your brain over complicated legalese.

When you share your divorce details, you’ll have your completed personalized paperwork ready to be signed within 2 business days. What’s more, you’ll receive clear filing instructions to finalize your case without legal help.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will it take to get divorced in California?

The quickest spouses can get a divorce is 6 months. But the process can take longer, especially in contested cases.

Can I get a free divorce in California?

Spouses who can’t afford to pay court fees can apply for a waiver. By filling the Request to Waive Court Fees and Order on Court Fee Waiver forms.

How do I file for divorce in California?

If allowed in their county, spouses can file for divorce offline by submitting their Petition, Summons, and other documents to the local court, by mail, or via the e-filing system.

How much does a divorce cost in California?

The average cost is about $13,000+ if spouses hire a lawyer. Seeking an uncontested divorce and choosing Divorce.com to complete their forms, spouses can reduce divorce expenses and obtain the paperwork fast and affordably.