What is a Divorce in Orange County?
A “divorce,” also known as a “dissolution of marriage” in California, is the formal, legal ending of a marriage that is obtained by a judgment issued through the California court process.
The first step in filing for divorce in Orange County is to determine if you satisfy the residency requirement. Prior to filing your divorce paperwork in Orange County, you must have lived in California for the past six months, and have lived in Orange County for the past three months.
Filling Out the Necessary Paperwork
The next step is to fill out the necessary paperwork to file for divorce with the court. To open a new divorce case with the Orange County Superior Court, you must fill out the following forms:
- Petition (Form FL-100)
- Summons (Form FL-110)
- Family Law Declaration Re: Related Cases (Form L1120)
- Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (Form FL-105) (only if you and your spouse have a child/children from the marriage).
Filing the Documents with the Court
Afterwards, the original documents and at least two copies need to be filed with the family law clerk at the Lamoreaux Justice Center. Along with these documents, there is also a $435 filing fee that must be paid directly to the court for filing this paperwork.
The family law clerk will keep the original forms, and will provide a filed copy of these documents, also known as a “conformed copy,” for you to keep. One of the conformed copies should be kept for your records, while the other conformed copy will be used to serve your spouse.
Serving Your Spouse
Typically, a conformed copy of these forms must be personally delivered to your spouse, along with a blank response form (Form FL-120) by someone that is 18 years old or older. For example, you can have a relative, friend, co-worker, etc. to personally hand a conformed copy of these documents to your spouse.
You cannot personally serve these documents to your spouse. The person that serves your spouse must keep track of the date, time, and address where he/she personally delivered these documents to your spouse, so a proper proof of service of summons (Form FL-115) can be filed with the court.
Your Spouse’s Response
Upon being served, your spouse has 30 days from the date she was served to file a response with the court. Once the thirty days have passed, you may proceed with seeking a default judgment against your spouse.
Call an Orange County Divorce Attorney Today
Filing for a divorce without a lawyer representing you can be a major error in judgment. The laws regarding child custody and division of property can be complicated. If you are considering filing for divorce and you have children or own a home or other valuable personal property you should hire an experienced family law firm to guide you through the entire process.
If you or a loved one is going through a divorce, it is crucial that you speak to an experienced family law attorney. At Wallin & Klarich, our attorneys have over 30 years of experience in handling all types of divorce cases in Orange County. Our attorneys will fight to get you the best possible outcome in your case.
With offices in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina, and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich Southern California family law attorney near you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.