How to File for Divorce in Riverside County

One of the first things you need to do if you are navigating how to file for divorce in Riverside County is to locate the proper court. The Riverside Family Law Courthouse is located at 4175 Main Street, Riverside, Ca. 92501. You or your spouse must have resided in Riverside County for at least three months before filing for divorce. Read  on to learn more about how to file for divorce in Riverside County and how SD Esquire can represent you in your uncontested divorce.

Riverside County Divorce Forms

Once you meet the residency requirements to file for divorce, the next step in the divorce process consists of completing the required forms. The spouse filling for divorce must complete the Petition- Marriage/Domestic Partnership (FL-100) 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 that you have 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 you to complete the 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.  In addition to the forms required by the State, Riverside County also requires a declaration of residence and a county specific cover sheet.

You will need to complete financial disclsoure forms and final judgement forms once your case is filed with the court. These documents must be served on the opposing party along with the court summons and petition.

Riverside County has self-help resource centers that can help you complete the forms you need to file for divorce in Riverside County.  The courthouses in Riverside, Murrieta, Hemet, and Indio have family law centers that offer workshops in how to fill out divorce forms and how to file for divorce in Riverside County.  The workshops last between 2-3 hours.  Each court has a different workshop schedule, but the divorce workshops are regularly offered at the Indio location on Tuesdays at 9 a.m.  The workshops are limited to 15 people and reservations can be made by phone.  The self-help centers also help with forms and filings to people who do not have a lawyer.  The centers are open five days a week.

Once your forms are filled out correctly, submit them to the clerk’s office for filling.  There is a $450 filing fee, which can be waived.  Court documents can be filed in person, by mail, by fax (and additional fee applies if filing by fax), and efax.  Once the divorce is filed, it will take a minimum of six months (from the date the respondent was served with the court summons and petition) before the divorce can be finalized, but may take longer depending on the complexity of the issues and the contentiousness of the couple.

Note, courts adjust case filing fees on an annual basis. You can also expect to pay process server fees after filing your case. Process server fees range between $75 – $150 for same day process service (includes 2 – 3 attempts).

Riverside Divorce Frequently Asked Questions

Do I Need to Hire a Riverside Divorce Attorney?

No. You do not need to hire a Riverside divorce attorney to complete the divorce process. However, working with a divorce attorney will ensurue your paperwork and marital settlement agreement is properly completed. Relying on  DIY guides may result in you not making important selections in your divorce petition and judgment.

How Do I Obtain Temporary Child Custody and Financial Support Orders?

You must file FL 300 (Request for Order) to obtain a temporary child custody and financial support order. File FL 150 (Income and Expense Delcaration) to request financial support such as child support and spousal support.

How Long Will the Riverside Divorce Process Take?

The Riverside divorce process takes a minimum of six months. California divorce laws require a six month waiting period from the time the respondent is served with the petition and summons until the judge approves a divorce judgment. For example, if you serve your spouse June 1, 2020, the earliest you can obtain a court signed final judgment is January 1, 2021.  Uncontested divorces are usually resolved within 6 months of the respondent being served. Contested divorces can last as long as two years. This is why you should obtain a detailed fee breakdown of legal costs including attorney fees when going through a contested divorce. Solving divorce issues quickly with your spouse will ensure an inexpensive and quick divorce.

What are Financial Disclosures?

All petitioners must complete and serve financial disclosures on the respondent. Financial disclosures consists of informing your spouse about what assets you own and the debts you owe. It also includes a signed declaration of your annual income. There are a set of forms the petitioner must fill out which are called “disclosures.” In a default and uncontested divorce, the waiver of final disclosures may be requested. Financial disclosures must be completed in both contested and uncontested divorces.

How Can I Settle My Divorce?

Work with an experienced uncontested divorce attorney to settle your divorce. An uncontested divorce attorney will examine which divorce issues have been settled and which ones are still pending. The attorney may propose a few approaches to resolve the issues and try to settle as many issues as poossible. Any remaining issues can be litigated in court.

What Happens if My Case Goes to Trial?

Discovery must be concluded by both parties before a matter heads to trial. In addition, parties must first attend a mandatory settlement conference as well. At the mandatory settlement conference, a third party mediator appointed by the court will try to help the parties settle as many issues as possible. Any remaining issues will be decided by the judge at trial. Trial may be set one month after the mandatory settlement conference. During trial, both parties can call forth witnesses to testify on their behalf regarding their relative position as it pertains to the request being made to the court. Most trials are resolved within one day.

Can I Obtain a Post-Judgment Modification?

You must meet specific requirements to obtain a post-judgment modification. For example, if you are seeking a child custody modification post-judgment, you must demonstrate to the court that there has been a significant change in circumstances that warrant a modiciation (which must be in the child’s best interest). Some parties also stipulate to post-judgment modifications.

SD Esquire Flat Fee Divorce Service

SD Esquire provides flat fee uncontested divorce services. We will prepare the legal documents you need to file for and complete your divorce.  This includes preparing and filling your divorce petition, completing your financial disclsoures, and drafting your marital settlement agreement (MSA). Our uncontested flat fee divorce service starts at $1500 for standard divorce (you are responsible for paying court filling fees).  The fee also includes service of process fees. You can make installment payments as your case progresses. It costs $500 to start your matter. Sign up today to get started.

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