Making the decision to divorce your spouse is stressful. Once you make the decision, there are many steps to take before the divorce is finalized. Working with a divorce lawyer who will guide you through the process can make it less stressful. Below, our San Jose divorce attorney provides a brief guide about the process of how to file for divorce in Santa Clara County.
Step 1: File for Divorce in Santa Clara County
In order to file for divorce in San Jose, you or your spouse must have:
- Been a resident of California for at least six months before filing for divorce
- Lived in Santa Clara County for at least three months before filing for divorce
You must file for divorce in the county where you or your spouse have resided for at least three months. During the filing process, you and your lawyer will submit these two forms:
- Petition. The Petition (FL-100) notifies the court that you are filing for divorce. It provides the court with factual information about your relationship and your order requests from the court.
- Summons. Your lawyer will file the Summons (FL-110) with FL-100. FL-110 notifies your spouse that you have opened a divorce case.
However, your attorney will also submit local forms. In addition, there may be other critical forms to submit if you have children with your spouse or if you need temporary orders, such as a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO).
Step 2: Serve Your Spouse With Divorce Paperwork
You must have someone 18 years or older (it cannot be you) serve your spouse with copies of the divorce paperwork. Your spouse has 30 days to file his or her response to it. You must also show proof to the court that you served and/or attempted to serve your spouse with the paperwork. You show proof by filing an FL-115 form with the court.
Step 3: Financial Disclosures
California law requires both spouses to disclose important financial information to the court. This information must include each spouse’s assets and liabilities. It should also include an income and expense declaration. The point of financial disclosures is to make sure that the property division and any ordered support are fair.
Step 4: Settlement Negotiations
During the negotiations phase, the spouses will attempt to reach an agreement about important matters such as property division, child support, child custody, and alimony. However, if one or both parties cannot reach an agreement, or if one spouse contests the divorce, mediation or litigation may be required before you can get a divorce judgment.
Keep in mind that once you file for a divorce in California, you also enter a six-month waiting period before the divorce can be finalized. The waiting period is in place to give couples one more chance to repair a broken marriage.
Why Is It Important to Have a Divorce Lawyer on My Side?
Filing for divorce in Santa Clara County can be complicated, which is why it is important to hire a divorce lawyer. This is especially true if one or both spouses do not agree on important aspects of the divorce. During this time, you may be concerned about your parenting rights, financial assets, and your future. Many matters must be settled during divorce, including, but not limited to:
An experienced divorce attorney offers you support through expert advice and guidance through divorce proceedings. You do not have to do it alone!
Contact Our Divorce Lawyer About Your San Jose, CA Divorce
We understand the difficult decision to file for divorce. Our San Jose divorce lawyer can work with you one-on-one to answer your questions and help you choose the path that is best for you.