In California, the court has a number of forms which guide and accomplish the divorce process. An effort has been made to make them clear but they are still daunting for most people. Here I group and list the main divorce forms and explain some options for completing them. All are available from the court’s website.
Divorce Forms – Starting a Divorce Case
- Petition (FL-100) – starts a divorce case, gives basic information about the marriage, and lets the court know either what the petitioner wants to be granted or that the spouses plan to resolve the issues in their divorce by written agreement.
- Summons (FL-110) – advises the non-petitioner spouse that a divorce case has been started, urges the respondent to file a response and sets out automatic financial and travel restraining orders applying to both spouses for the duration of the divorce.
- Declaration under UCCJEA (FL-105) – tells the court where any minor children of the marriage have been living and whether there are any other legal proceedings relating to them.
- Proof of Service of Summons (FL-115) – advises the court that the divorce papers have been served on the respondent.
- Response (FL-120) – optionally filed by the respondent to contest what the petitioner has asked to be granted in the divorce petition.
Divorce Forms – Financial Disclosures
- Property Declaration (FL-160) – lists all property and debts, provides information about them and can be used to propose how to divide them.
- Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142) – lists all property (assets) and debts and provides information about them.
- Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150) – lists average monthly income and expenses for each spouse.
- Declaration of Disclosure (FL-140) – a cover sheet for your spouse indicating which financial disclosure documents are attached.
- Declaration Regarding Service of the Declaration of Disclosure (FL-141) – advises the court as regards the status of your financial disclosures.
Divorce Forms – Judgment
- Judgment (FL-180) – gives the court orders (in areas such as co-parenting, child support, spousal support and division of assets and debts) which comprise your divorce.
- Declaration for a Default or Uncontested Dissolution (FL-170) – similar to the Judgment form but also provides information necessary for a divorce to be approved without a hearing.
- Notice of Entry of Judgment (FL-190) – lets you know that your divorce has been granted.
Divorce Forms – Others
There are other forms that may come into play, especially with respect to the package submitted to the court for your judgment. Some of the more common ones that may be useful and relatively easy to understand are:
- Child Custody and Visitation Order Attachment (FL-341)
- Child Support Information and Order Attachment (FL-342)
- Spousal, Partner or Family Support Order Attachment (FL-343)
Some counties also have “local forms” that are required in those counties only.
Divorce Forms – How to Complete and File
The forms required at the beginning of a divorce are easier to understand than those required to complete one. Here are your main options for completing and filing divorce forms and paperwork:
- do them yourself, using perhaps the court’s website, books, online instructions, divorce professionals, and/or the court’s Self-Help staff as resources.
- pay one of the “do-it-yourself” online services that ask you a series of questions and then generate the filled-in forms along with instructions for filing them.
- pay a paralegal or Legal Document Assistant to do them and perhaps file them.
- pay an attorney to do them and perhaps file them.
All the terms of your divorce do not necessarily have to be written on court forms. Often they are set out in written documents called “Stipulated Judgments” or “Marital Settlement Agreements.”