How to Get a Divorce in San Francisco Without a Lawyer

Despite common belief, you can get a divorce in San Francisco without a lawyer. Some people immediately think about lawyering up with faced with divorce. I’m here to tell you that you may be able to end your marriage without hiring an attorney.

You should consult with an attorney if you are in a domestic violence relationship or if there is a strong disagreement regarding the division of community property or child custody. If you and your spouse agree to settle your marital issues, consider hiring a legal document preparer,  or paralegal. Read on to learn more about how to get a divorce in San Francisco without a lawyer.

California Divorce Overview

Most counties follow the same process with filling for divorce in California.  The basic steps for a divorce includes filing the initial petition, exchanging financial disclosures, negotiating and attending hearings (if applicable), and reaching a final resolution and judgment.

You must satisfy divorce residency requirements before you file the initial petition for dissolution. You or your spouse must have resided in California for at least six month and three months in a local county before filling the petition for dissolution. Consider filling for legal separation if you do not meet the residency requirements.

Once you satisfy residency requirements, the moving party must file a petition for dissolution and provide the opposing party reasonable time to respond to the petition.  The petition contains information pertaining to the marriage and what the moving party requests per the division of community property, spousal support, child support, and any other applicable orders. The opposing party can make similar request or work out any differences with the moving party through mediation.

Exchanging financial disclosures is pretty self-explanatory. This process involves a more specific exchange of information relating to income, expenses, assets, debts, and community and separate property. The exchange of financial disclosures is a requirement for obtaining a divorce. The purpose is to aid in negotiating the settlement of community property disputes. Failing to disclose financial information could result in a judgment being vacated. Depending on your situation, you may have to appear before the judge to provide an update on your case. A judgment will be issued in your case once all issues are settled with your spouse.

How Much Does a California Divorce Cost?

San Francisco Divorce Lawyer Options

There can be a number of reasons why you do not want to hire a lawyer for your divorce. With most entry level attorneys charging $350 per hour, you can easily find yourself paying upwards of $15,000 for a divorce. Take it from me – there are other solutions available to ending your marriage than hiring an attorney.

Do not go into debt to obtain a divorce. Find a common ground to work with your spouse and resolve your marital disputes as quickly and economically as possible. The last thing you want to pay off is divorce attorney fee debt. As an alternative to signing up for our online divorce course, you may want to consider working with a Family Law Facilitator. The Facilitator can help you prepare the court forms you need to file for and complete the divorce process.

The Facilitator’s office is located in Room 509 at the San Francisco Superior Court. Keep in mind that their self-help services are limited.

San Francisco Family Law Court Location

You must locate the proper court branch to file your petition for dissolution.  In San Francisco, the Unified Family Court manages divorce cases. This court can be found at:

Civic Center Courthouse

400 McAllister Street

San Francisco, CA 94102

The Family Law Department is the proper location for handling family law issues such as divorce.

San Francisco Divorce Forms

As mentioned above, there are a number of required documents to complete to file for and obtain a divorce in San Francisco. While filing for divorce may seem overwhelming, be strategic about working with legal counsel in doing so.

How to Avoid Going Into Debt During a California Divorce

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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