California Form FL 100 Dissolution of Marriage DIY Instructions

In this lesson you will learn how to complete FL-100,  Petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Domestic Partnership. In the header section of the form, insert your personal information. List your first and last name in the first box. On the next line, list your street address. List the city of your residence and provide a telephone number for you to be reached. Providing a fax number and email address is optional. Because you are representing yourself, in the “Attorney For” field, insert “In Pro Per.” 

In the next box, William (Bill) must list the court name and address in which his matter will be heard. Since William resides in central San Diego, he will fill his petition with the Family Court-Central Division located at 1555 Sixth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101.  The petition to divorce must be filed in the superior court of the county where you reside. Contact us if you are unsure as to which court to file your documents in. The filing fee for a divorce in San Diego is $435. You will be provided with a case number once your documents are filed with the court clerk.

Since Bill is seeking a divorce from Kelly, in the “Petition For” field, he will select “Dissolution of” and check “Marriage.”  Next, you must provide information regarding your legal relationship, demonstrate that you meet California residency requirements for divorce, and provide statistical facts about your marriage. In our sample, Bill is married to the Respondent, Kelly. Bill has resided in California for the past fifteen years. Bill and Kelly wed on December 25, 2000. The parties separated on November 25, 2016. The date of marriage to the date of separation is fifteen years and eleven months.

If  you and the petitioner have minor children together, check 4b. Insert each minor child’s name, birthdate, age and sex. Bill has a minor daughter named Rose Richardson.

On the next page, Bill must address the legal grounds in which he is filing for divorce. There are only two legal grounds in which a party can divorce in California: irreconcilable differences or permanent legal incapacity to make decisions. Bill and Kelly are divorcing because of irreconcilable differences.

Next, you must choose whether you would like sole or joint legal and physical custody. Legal custody refers to which parent gets to make decisions regarding where a child lives, attends school, practices religious activities, and the medical care he/she receives. Physical custody refers to where the child will lives. In my example, Bill wants joint legal custody with Kelly and sole physical custody of  Rose. He wishes Kelly to have visitation rights.

The child support field can be left blank. Whenever a party files for divorce with minor children, child support will apply. Neither party can waive child support. The matter can be reserved and readdressed at a later time. Child support must be paid until a child turns 18-years-old.

The court may grant spousal support depending on many factors. In this example, Bill wants spousal support and wants to terminate the ability of the court to grant Kelly spousal support. You may waive your right to spousal support and mark box c for the court to address the issue in the future.

In the next section, you must address any separate property you want to keep post-divorce. In our example, Bill requests that all assets acquired before marriage and after separation be confirmed as his separate property. Separate property cannot be divided in a divorce, only community property.

Depending on the length of your marriage, you may have an extensive amount of community and quasi community property.  It is best to work out an agreement on the division of property outside of court. In our example, Bill believes he can reach an agreement with Kelly.

Since Bill is representing himself, he will not be seeking attorney fees.

Read the restraining orders on the back of the summons prior to providing a signature on FL-100.

Congratulations. This concludes this lesson. Remember, the information above is presented for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Contact us if you have any questions about completing Fl-100.