How to File for Divorce in Los Angeles County
One of the first things you need to do if you are navigating how to file for divorce in Los Angeles County is to locate the proper court. Los Angeles County has many courthouses and you can learn where to file for divorce by using the filing court locator. The courthouse that will process your divorce is based on your zip code. To file for divorce in California, a spouse must have in California for six months and resided in Los Angeles County for three months before the filling.
Complete Los Angeles County Divorce Forms
The next step in figuring out how to file for divorce in Los Angeles county is to complete all of the required forms. California courts requires a Petition- Marriage/Domestic Partnership (FL-100) to be filed with the court to begin the process. This form is fairly basic. The form asks for you to list all assets and debts you believe are separate property and all assets and debts you believe are community property. Unless there are very few assets, this will require you to attach a Property Declaration (FL-160) to the filing. The court also requires a Summons (FL-110) to inform your spouse of you filed for divorce and he/she has 30 days to respond; a Proof of Service (FL- 115) which tells the court you served the papers on your spouse. If you and your spouse have children, the court requires Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (FL-105) which informs the court of the current custody arrangements. There is also an optional form, Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time) Application Attachment (FL-311) that allows you to propose a custody and visitation arrangement.
Los Angeles County has self-help resource centers that can help with the basics of how to file for divorce in Los Angeles County. The self-help resource centers can help with filling out forms but cannot offer legal advice. The Los Angeles County self-help centers do not require reservations and people are helped on a first come, first serve basis. Resource centers that can help show you how to file for divorce in Los Angeles County are located at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse (downtown), Antelope Valley, Chatsworth, Compton, Long Beach, Pomona, Pasadena, Torrance, Van Nuys, and Whittier.
Once the forms are filled out correctly they are ready to be filed. There is a $435 filing fee, which can be waived. Los Angeles County Court offers a feature where some divorce documents can be submitted online, but it does not currently offer efiling for family law matters. Court documents can be filed in person, by mail, or by dropbox. These steps explain how to file for divorce in Los Angeles County. Once the divorce is filed, it will take a minimum of six months before the divorce can be finalized It may take longer depending on the complexity of the issues and the contentiousness of the couple.
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