San Diego Divorce Process

Your San Diego divorce process will depend on whether your divorce is contested or uncontested. A contested divorce means there are divorce issues between the parties that have not been resolved. An uncontested divorce means the spouses have resolved all issues as it pertains to their divorce.

Contested divorces are decided by a judge. An uncontested divorce is finalized by the parties submitting a stipulated settlement agreement to the court. Use my California Divorce Attorney Fee Calculator to find out how much money you may pay for a contested divorce. This article provide a brief overview of the contested and uncontested San Diego divorce process. Read on to learn more.

San Diego Uncontested Divorce Process

  • California Residency Requirements
    • You must statisfy California residency requirements to file for divorce in San Diego. This requires you or your spouse to have resided in California for at least six months before your divorce petition is filed. In addition, you or your spouse must have lived in the county in whcih your divorce petition is filed for at least six months before filing.
  • Petition for Dissolution & Court Summons
    • Once you satisfy the residency requirements, you will have to prepare and file Form FL 100 and FL 110 with the court. You will be required to pay a $435 filing fee. Note, this fee changes annually. In addition, you may have to file additional documents specific to your case.
  • Serve the Respondent & Complete Financial Disclosures
    • Hire a third party to serve the respondent in person or by mail. The respondent will have to sign and return FL 117 to you to file with the court if served by mail. You will have 60 days to complete and serve the respondent with your financial disclosures after serving him. This timeframe may be extended if mutually agreed to in writing by the parties.
  • Respondent Files a Response & Serves Financial Disclosures
    • The respondent will have the opportunity to file a response to the divorce petition. Failure to file a response can result in the respondent not having a say as to how community property assets and debts are divided. The respondent will also have 60 days to prepare and serve the petitioner with his financial disclosures.
  • Enter into Marital Settlement Agreement
    • The parties will have the opporunity to enter into a marital settlement agreement. This agreement will detail how the parties want their assets and debts divided, child custody and support arrangement, and whether spousal support will be ordered.
  • Obtain Divorce Judgment
    • Additional forms will have to be completed in order to submit the final judgment to the court for approval. Hire a  San Diego Divorce Lawyer to review your final judgment forms and marital settlement agreement. Doing so can help you avoid a post-judgment modification.
San Diego Contested Divorce Process

A contested divorce is similar to the steps outlined above, however, the parties will not enter into a marital settlement agreement after exchanging financial disclosures. Instead, the parties may have to conduct discovery to obtain more information about community property assets and debts, or retain the services of a child counselor to help gather evidence to proceed to trial. The discovery process if a fact finding process to prepare for trial. The information contained during discovery will likely be used against a party at trial.

 Free California Divorce Checklist >>


Before going to trial, both parties will be ordered to attend a mandatory settlement conference. Both parties will be encouraged to resolve as many divorce issues as possible before proceeding to trial.

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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