Following are links to the county divorce court websites that handle divorces and legal separations in southern California:
Los Angeles County
San Bernardino County
San Diego County
A full listing by county of all the California Superior Courts (which is the type of court that handles divorces and legal separations) is available at the court’s website. Each community is generally assigned a particular courthouse. In Orange County, all divorce and legal separation case filings are handled at Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange and most cases are heard there. If you live in Los Angeles County, a look-up is available to help you find your courthouse.
It is possible to begin and complete a California divorce or legal separation without ever going to a courthouse or a courtroom. The Family Law Clerk accepts court filings (including the “Petition” that begins a divorce or legal separation case and all the documents required to complete the case) in person, by mail or electronically. The minimum fee that must be paid to the court for a divorce or legal separation is the Petition filing fee of about $435. The California court and county websites above are well-written with lots of helpful information including all required forms.
If you are not represented by an attorney, at each family law court is a Self-Help area with staff and literature that can help you understand the forms and procedures necessary for a divorce or legal separation and for related legal matters. Unfortunately, the waiting line to see a staff member is often long.
Legal Document Assistants and paralegals can also be a very good source of assistance on required court forms and procedures since that is what they do for a living.