If you wish to obtain an uncontested divorce, California’s requirements include the following.
1. Satisfy residency requirements
You must meet residency requirements in order to be eligible for any type of divorce in California, including an uncontested divorce.
You can meet these residency requirements if at least one spouse has lived in California for the previous six months. If you meet this requirement, you can file for divorce in the county where you or your spouse lived during the three months prior to filing for divorce.
If you do not meet these criteria, you will have to divorce elsewhere or wait for an uncontested divorce in California until you or your spouse have lived in the state for the minimum required amount of time.
2. Come to an agreement with your spouse on all issues related to divorce
The key to an uncontested divorce is that there are no contested issues, or issues that you and your spouse haven’t been able to decide and need help addressing. For the divorce to proceed uncontested, you must have agreement on the following:
- How will property and debt be divided?
- Is either spouse entitled to alimony, and if so, when, how much, and for how long?
- How child custody will be shared
- Whether child support will be required
If you are having difficulty agreeing to these issues independently without assistance, you may want to work with an experienced mediator. A mediator is a trained professional who helps facilitate communication to enable couples to reach a compromise.
3. Decide between a comprehensive solution or a standard solution
There are two different ways to pursue an uncontested divorce in California. These include the universal solution or the standard solution.
Summary resolution is a simple and quick process but you are only eligible if you meet the following conditions:
- You do not have any minor children together and neither of the spouses is pregnant
- Your marriage has lasted five years or less
- Neither spouse owns any real estate
- Total community debt, excluding auto loans, not to exceed $6,000
- Total community property, excluding cars, does not exceed $47,000
- Neither spouse owns separate property exceeding $47,000
- no alimony will be required
- Have a written agreement to divide your property
If you do not qualify for an immediate annulment, you can still pursue an uncontested divorce through the standard annulment process. However, more models are needed.
4. Submit the correct papers to the court and pay the court filing fee
You must file for divorce in order to proceed with an uncontested divorce in California. One of the spouses begins the process by submitting the required papers to the court.
the California Courts Self-Help Center It enables you to find and submit the documents you are required to complete. You get a package of forms in PDF format that you need to use. Depending on whether you are seeking an abstract solution or a standard solution, you need one of the following:
- dissolution package
- Summary solution package
These packages contain documents that must be completed as part of your file Divorce proceduressuch as the Joint Petition for Brief Dissolution and the Income and Expenses Declaration.
Completing these forms can be complicated, so it is often best to have an attorney provide assistance. Both you and your spouse must be willing to complete all required forms in order for the divorce to proceed uncontested.
You must also pay the court filing fee (between $435 and $450) when you file your case. If you cannot afford it, a fee waiver package is available on the website of your county self-help center. This includes additional documentation to complete.
Once you submit your forms, your case will proceed and if you meet all the requirements, the court will annul your marriage.