Uncontested Divorce in California Advice Needed

Updated on April 22, 2013
E.1. asks from Nevada City, CA
7 answers

Hey Mamas, my husband and I are getting a divorce. We by any means want to stay out of court and already have agreed on most of the terms. I was thinking to do it online -I will be the one having to do all the paperwork. Has anyone done this themselves or with online help? Any experience with ourdivorceagreement.com? Also, we are both abroad now and will be for several months, do one of us have to hand in the paperwork or can it be given by a third party? I don't really know where to start with this so any advice is helpful- thanks!

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answers from Redding on

Since it's uncontested, can you wait until you get back into the country?

Uncontested divorces are very simple. You go to the county courthouse, you get the divorce packet, fill out the papers and follow the simple procedures. There is a filing fee involved, not sure what it is in your county.

I, personally, wouldn't trust doing it online. The papers have to be filed with the court. You might be able to get forms online, but I would wait until you get back.

Just my opinion.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I went to court for my divorce, so I can't speak to that... however...

Not to throw a wrench in the works, but you should double check residency requirements given that you are both out of the country. I'm pretty sure that California still has a 6 month residency requirement to file for divorce meaning that you have to have lived permanently in California for the 6 months immediately prior to filing. (This is different than the 6 months 1 day waiting period AFTER you file before finalization).

It has nothing to do with where you were married, it's about where you live when you decide to get divorced.

You'll want to look into exactly HOW they view your current stay abroad... are you on vacation or are you LIVING abroad? If it's the latter, you might have to wait until you return to file. (some of it will depend on whether you continue to maintain a residence in California while you're gone).

Good luck.


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answers from Los Angeles on

Most of the courts in California have a self help line. Here's the link to your county's court: http://www.nevadacountycourts.com/
There are also facilitators who can help you fill everything out and file the paperwork.



answers from Los Angeles on

I did mine through Legalzoom. You fill out the forms online and they put it together. When you get the forms, double check as they did make a few mistakes and we had to fix them and send them back but they redid them as part of the $300 we paid. Filing in the court where you live, I believe you have to be there to do it but I am not sure as he did go to the court. Make sure you file in the right county. You don't really need anyone to fill in blanks for you though and that's all the online people will do with the addition of having someone to call and ask questions. The questionnaire online was a bit easier to go through than the actual forms themselves if we had just printed the forms and filled them out manually. Reminds me of using TurboTax for taxes, depending on your answer, the online questionnaire took you to the proper next question so that made it easier.

They give no legal advice, just fill in advice and terminology when you are unsure. As to what to do for how to split stuff up and child support, only a paid lawyer will do that. We went to the California child support calculators to determine child support values, got a range and then took the middle value. That was fine with us, we decided for ourselves how to split things but ran into how to word certain things and that's when we called them for help. Oh, and it was nice they put together a step by step process of each form, what needs to be signed, how to sign it including the server on which line to sign and what to do exactly with the final forms. You are always worried you'd mess up signing something and they put it together well enough for me. Better than paying a lawyer, easier than going alone.

The divorce forms are turned into the clerk. There's no harm in finding out if someone else can turn them in for you. Worse case, you'd have to wait until you are back in the states anyway. So if you want to try now to get it started, just fill the forms online, print them out, sign and send it someone who can turn them in for you and see if it will be accepted.

After that, someone who is over 18 but not your child can "serve" you. My husband gave it to my best friend to give to me. She filled out the form saying she gave it to me and then mailed the form back to him saying she did her job. Then I signed all the forms and handed him the papers (I think you have 30 days to go over the paper work but since we worked on the terms together I just glanced over them to make sure there were no surprises and then signed and gave them back in a week).

He has them now and since he filed he has to turn them into the courts. From there, we wait 6 months and 1 day. At some point I guess we'll have a court date.

This site links you to all the forms and how to fill them out online as well:

Good luck and feel free to contact me. Things will happen and sometimes you need someone to gripe with. I'm not a lawyer but I can give only my own experiences so far. Our court filing fee I think was $300-400 dollars. You split the cost but you do need that money to pay to for it. He paid for it and didn't make me pay but if you do it alone, you both share the cost.


answers from Albany on

I'm sorry, I don't have any divorce info for you. But if you don't mind my asking, I'm curious about the outcome of your son's seizure episodes from your last post.




answers from San Francisco on

I've never done a divoce, but I can tell you that any third party can file your papers at the courthouse. You can also mail them in for filing. If you mail them, be sure to provide a SASE for return of an endorsed-filed copy to you.

Good luck!



answers from Albuquerque on

There's no need to pay an online site to do it for you - all they do is provide the forms that you can get for free on the California courts' website. http://www.courts.ca.gov/1033.htm

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