If you're wondering how to file for divorce in San Bernardino or Riverside County, this article will help point you in the right direction and provide forms and helpful information.
Rules for filing a divorce (Petition for Dissolution of Marriage) case:
If you're married and want to maintain marital status but legally separate in all other regards, you may file for legal separation. Similar to divorce, the court will issue orders regarding custody, visitation, support and award property or divide assets and debts. If your partner files a response and requests a dissolution of marriage the court will grant this.
If you're the petitioner, (or the spouse seeking the divorce), here's how to begin the process:
If you're the respondent, (or the spouse being petitioned), here's what you need to know:
Filing Your Divorce Forms with the Court
When your forms are completed you'll need to go to your local family courthouse and file them. At that time you'll most likely be filing the Petition, Summons and Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act if you have minor children. You'll need to pay the initial filing fee, ($435 as of this writing), unless you financially qualify to have the fee waived Form FW001. However, the court needs to approve this. Once you've received the stamped copies from the court clerk you can serve your spouse with a copy of the documents soon after leaving the courthouse.
Serving Your Spouse
Now that you've filed your documents with the court, the first thing you should do is serve your spouse with the documents as soon as reasonably possible. "Service of Process" is crucial to the court and legal process because it puts all parties on official notice as to what's going on in the case and provides an opportunity to appear.
Your spouse may have chosen to proceed pro se, without an attorney, and you should serve them directly at his or her home address. Otherwise, if your spouse has retained a divorce lawyer you would serve the papers to the attorney at their office.
If you are the petitioner you must follow service rules when serving the documents:
There's a lot to consider when filing for divorce in California, most of which is beyond the scope of this article. You may want to discuss options for your family with a therapist or counselor, and consult with a divorce lawyer in the Inland Empire if any of the following is true:
DISCLAIMER: This article does not constitute legal advice, but merely provides general legal information available through public documents on government websites. This information is not published by an attorney and this information may change from time to time, you should discuss legal matters with the best attorney for your case.
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