How do I Start or Open a Divorce Case in California?

How do I file for divorce in California?

Petition for dissolution of marriage

A person that wants to file for divorce in the State of California must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with their local court that supervises divorce cases. The Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is a judicial council form. The form number is FL-100 and it is called the Petition-Marriage. The form has been approved by the Judicial Council for the State of California so it is a form that is required by all court located in California. The Petition is broken down into several categories and requests certain information such as where the person who is filing for divorce has lived in the last six months, statistical information concerning the marriage, the names, date of birth, and sex of any children that resulted from the marriage, property and/or debt information concerning separate property and community property, the reason a person is requesting a divorce, and requests that a person is seeking from the court. These requests involve the issues of custody, visitation, spousal support, property rights, and name change. The Petition does not allow a person to request child support, as that issue is an issue that a family law court always maintains jurisdiction or power over, and the family court will make an order for child support as long as the court has financial information from both persons in which to make such an order.

What information is requested on the petition for divorce?

The items listed in the Petition are very important, and must be answered carefully. If a person fails to mark or indicate certain information in the Petition (for example, a person forgot to mark that she wants to seek spousal support), a court may decide not to make any order concerning that issue because of the person’s failure to ask for it in the Petition. The person filing for divorce may then need to file an amended petition in order to get that a missing issue before the court.

The Petition is usually filed along with the Summons-Family Law, Form number FL-110, when a person opens a divorce case. Many courts in California will not accept the Petition if it is not properly filed with the Petition.

If you are thinking of filing for divorce, it is best to seek an experienced family law attorney such as the Gonzalez Law Firm. Attorney David Gonzalez can properly protect your legal rights during a divorce proceeding or case. Contact him at 714-992-5217. His firm provides legal services at competitive and reasonable legal fees. His firm represents many clients whose cases are before all courts in all Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties in the State of California.