I Filed For Divorce In California But Did Not Serve My Spouse Yet

I had a good question come up on our divorce chat service today.  This individual was searching for “how to dismiss your California divorce case

The specific issue that they were facing is that they had filed for divorce in California, but had not served the divorce papers.  The divorce courts are now setting a case status conference if the divorce papers are not filed timely.  You can usually expect a hearing to be set within 2 months from the time you filed the divorce papers.

This party had the status conference hearing coming up pretty soon and did not have time to serve her spouse.  She wanted to know if she should go to the hearing and if her husband would have to attend.

If you have a case status conference coming up at the beginning of your divorce, in most cases it will not be with the judge.  It will be with the Facilitators office and they just want to see what is happening with your case.  Sometimes the letter regarding the hearing states that your case will be dismissed if the Respondent has not been served prior to the hearing. So make sure to read the notice of motion closely.

I advised her that she should go to the hearing to avoid potentially having the case dismissed. If this were to happen, she would have to refile her divorce.  This means filing out all the paperwork again and paying the filing fee again.

I also advised her to simply explain what was going on.  In her case, she was not sure if she wanted to continue with the divorce.  Since her husband already new she had filed, I told her it would be best to have him served and then just let the case sit with the court.

There are other reasons you may not have served your spouse.  I get a lot of calls from folks asking what they should do when they don’t know where their spouse is and that is the reason they have not been served.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service and are a full service divorce firm.  We can assist you with your entire divorce start to finish anywhere in California.


How To Serve Your California Divorce Forms | Personal Service & Mail Service

One of the biggest misunderstandings and questions I get is about how and who can serve the divorce papers if you are divorcing in California.

We will discuss the process of service in this post and have also included a video of the different types of mail service and personal service and who can serve which forms.

Watch this brief video about serving divorce papers or continue reading below.

In the video we discuss who can file your divorce forms and how to file the proof of service forms.

Remember, that the initial divorce forms (summons and petition) have to be personally served.  They have to be personally served by someone over 18 and cannot be you.

The video above will walk you through how to fill out the California divorce proof of service of summons (personal service form).

There is a way that you can mail your initial divorce forms to your spouse as well.  Again, it cannot be done by you.  So you will have to have someone mail the divorce summons and petition to your spouse.  You need to complete and include a notice of acknowledgment of receipt form FL-117.  You spouse, once received, will have to sign the form which acknowledges that they have received the divorce papers.

When they mail it back to you, you will then complete the proof of service of summons and attach the notice of acknowledgment of receipt.  Both need to be filed together with the court at the same time.  Make sure to check the appropriate boxes on the proof of service of summons.

We are a divorce legal service that specializes in the divorce process.  We are headquartered in Santa Clarita, CA and serve all the courts in Los Angeles County.  Regardless of where you live in Los Angeles, we can help you.

We have the divorce process down to a science and and help many clients who do not want to drive to our office by assisting them via phone, fax and email.

Please give us a call at 661-281-0266 and we can discuss your specific divorce case and let you know how we can help you.

How To Start The California Divorce Process | Santa Clarita Divorce

We have made several videos on how to complete your California divorce and are now making them available on our blog, divorce661.com.

The video below discusses the initial steps and divorce forms you will need to file for divorce in California.  It is a step by step guide on what the exact forms you will need to file to get your divorce case started.

We explain the divorce process exactly as we would complete it if you had our Santa Clarita Divorce Service completing your divorce for you.

We discuss how to fill out the California Divorce Petition form FL-100 and divorce Summons Form FL-110.  We will share with you the exact way to complete these forms on video.  You can literally watch as we type on the forms.  You could even follow along and complete your forms yourself if you wanted to.

We also go over some of the areas of the divorce forms where people have the most trouble and ask us the most questions about.

The video will also help you decide how to fill out the requests on page 2 of the Petition. You will notice that the forms says ” Petitioner Requests” and then starts asking about children and physical and legal custody and visitation, etc.

Now on the divorce summons, we discuss the automatic restraining orders that go into effect which are on the second page of the summons.  Make sure to read what that says.  The summons also advises the respondent that they have 30 days to respond.

Once you have watched this video on how to start the California divorce process and completed your initial divorce documents, you will need to file them with the court so your case number can be issued.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service that specializes in divorce. We are located in Santa Clarita and serve all the Courts in Los Angeles County.  Please give us a call if you would like more information about our full service divorce process.

You Have 30 Days After Divorce Petition Served To File Response | Santa Clarita Divorce

If you are going through a divorce in California, one thing you will receive is the Summons.  The divorce Summons can be scary to read so I wanted to discuss this form in detail.

The first thing the divorce summons says is “You Are Being Sued”.  What do you mean you are being sued?  Look, while this is a family law matter, it is still a lawsuit filed in a court of law.  You just need to get over it.  And understand this. You are being sued, but not like in civil court where you are the defendant because someone has alleged you have done something wrong.

The next thing you will read is the following caption:

“You have 30 calendar days after this Summons and Petition are served on you to file a Response at the court and have copy served on the Petitioner.  A letter or phone call will not protect you.  If you do not file your Response on time, the court may make orders affecting your marriage, your property, and custody of your children…”

Of all the divorce forms, this one troubles people the most and I want to discuss a few things.

First of all, what the court is referring to about the “30 days to file a response” is in regards to the other party having the ability to file a “Request to enter Default”.  While technically it is true that you need to file a response in 30 days, it is not necessary if you are planning on proceeding by way of default or by using a hybrid judgment for your divorce.

I am a big fan of the hybrid divorce.  This is a cross between a default and an uncontested.  A hybrid divorce judgment allows you to do all the things required by an uncontested divorce (both parties complete financial disclosures and enter into a written agreement) and a true default divorce.

When preparing a hybrid style divorce, you do not have to worry about filing a response.  So while the Summons says you have to file a response or risk losing certain rights, it is not part of the paperwork when completing a hybrid divorce in California.  This is because with a hybrid a request to enter default will be filed.

The difference is that the request to enter default will be submitted with the final divorce judgment along with the agreement instead of after the 30 day mark.

If you have more questions about the California Divorce Summons or about the “30 days to respond” language, please feel free to give us a call.

We are a licensed divorce service located at 27240 Turnberry Lane, Ste. 200 Valencia, CA 91355 and can be reached at 661-281-0266.

Don’t Fall Victim To Cheap Online Divorce Document Providers | California Divorce

If you are searching for online for divorce assistance in California you will undoubtedly find many cheap and low cost services.

I want you to understand the difference between a professional document preparation service and what these online services provide so you can make a decision on which is best suited for you.

I am looking at a Google search I just did for “cheap divorce”.  What you will find is divorce document preparation companies offering services as low as $89.95 for do-it-yourself kits.  Others are selling what is referred to as “automated document assembly” where you fill out an online questionnaire which will auto populate the divorce forms.

So let’s discuss a couple of these options.

Do It Yourself Divorce Kits 

Do it yourself kits are exactly that.  You pay for them to send you the divorce forms.  You will receive a box with a lot of  forms, many that you will never need.  By the way, all the divorce forms are available at the Court House or online completely free.  There is absolutely no reason to pay for your forms, but many do all the time.

Automated Document Assembly

Automated document assembly is where you answer questions online and your answers are automatically populated into the divorce forms.  It seems like a good idea at first glance, until you realize the limitations.

Here are the problems with this type of service.

  1. There is nobody there to tell you if you are providing the correct information.
  2. The divorce forms are usually not updated to the correct version.
  3. They don’t provide you with the local forms for your County.
  4. Nobody reviews your documents.  Once you save and print, you are on your own.
  5. There is no assistance with the “process” of filing and serving your documents.

I actually purchased the licensing rights at one point to sell an automated document assembly.  I had people use it and realized immediately the pitfalls and shortcomings of the software.  These types of systems have not place in a complex process such as divorce.

Full Service Divorce Document Preparation

This is what we provide, a full service divorce document preparation service.  We are licensed and bonded legal document preparers that specialize in divorce in Los Angeles County.  We have worked for the courts and for large law firms and are familiar with the process and how to correctly complete the paperwork.

Here is what you get with our service.

  1. We complete all your documents. No Questionnaires.
  2. We file all your documents with the court.  You won’t go to court.
  3. We inform you step by step of the procedure along the way.  Trust me, you will have lots of questions.
  4. We are available by phone and email to answer all your questions.

I provided this run down of the different services because I was getting too many people calling me for help with their divorce who had already wasted their money on purchasing their forms or the automated document assembly service only to be left with nothing more than paper for their trash.

Using Our Remote Divorce Service | California Divorce

I received an email over the weekend asking if we can provide our divorce service remotely.  This person live out of Country, but had lived in California and wanted to see if we could help him with his divorce.

We have spoke about this in the past quite a bit, but thought I would discuss it again.  We are able to help you with your divorce anywhere in California, whether you are in California or not.

We have helped lots of folks finish their divorce who are out of state or out of Country.  We have helped military personnel serving in the Armed Forces who are deployed overseas to complete their divorce.   Most recently was a gentleman in the Army, serving in Germany and his divorce was completed in Sacramento.  All this while our divorce service is headquartered in Los Angeles.

We have helped clients who were living in Saudi Arabia as well as Africa.  Some places were so remote, that they did not have email and we had to mail them their divorce document to the consulate.

So, as you can see, we can help you with your divorce anywhere in California whether you are living here or not.  For the most part, the divorce process and forms are the same anywhere in California.  Each county may have a few different local forms.  We always check the court’s local website for specific forms and procedures to make sure they are the same as Los Angeles County where we are based.

You can call it a remote divorce service or online divorce service.   In fact, we have completed divorces for clients we have never met and never spoken to.  Because of time changes for folks out of Country, we did everything via email.  The last person that reached out to us for our remote divorce service was from Australia, and they are 17 hours ahead of us.

Regardless of where you live, we can help you complete your divorce in California.  Give us a call or email us for more information.

California Divorce Probability Calculator | What’s Your Chances Of Getting Divorced?

I am a regular Google Plus guy and spend time on this particular social media platform to communicate and connect with other people and share ideas and information.

Today I was searching to see if anybody had written any interesting articles about divorce in the last 24 hours or so.  So I was doing a hashtag search for #divorce and came upon a very interesting article written by a Pittsburgh Divorce Attorney named Lisa Marie Vari.

The article was interesting for two reasons.  First, because it mentioned “Divorce Insurance”.  I had never heard of that so wanted to learn more.  You can read the entire article about divorce insurance here.  But I was more interested in the discussion about a Divorce Probability Calculator.

So I went to check out this divorce probability calculator to see what it was all about.  This divorce calculator is not just for California.   This was just my little local search tactic.

So here is what I learned about the divorce probability calculator.  Their website says the formula was based on information gathered in face-to-face interviews with 10,847 women ages 15-44 in 1995 and 12,571 men and women aged 15-44 in 2002 and was conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for Disease Control and Prevention.

The calculator says they are correct with only a 13% margin of error.

I thought it would be interesting to take the test and see what kind of questions they were asking.  There were approximately 20 questions.  The initial questions had to do with if you a man or woman, age, race, if you have been married before, education level, employment status and income level, etc.  Essentially establishing a base.  Then the questions asked if you drink alcohol, have arguments with your wife, had children before marriage or shortly after getting married, if your parents were divorced, history of mental illness and so on.

So I went all the way through the divorce probability calculator and it gives you a score.  But the only way to know what your score means is to enter your email address.

As you go through the divorce probability calculator, you can see, based on the questions asked, who the more likely candidates for divorce are.  If anything, it was interesting.  Not sure what the plan is of the company for asking for your email address though.  Could be a lead generation source for them i suppose.  Why else would folks be on the site?

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation firm that specializes in divorce.  We are headquartered in Santa Clarita, CA and serve all the courts of Los Angeles and California.

California Hybrid Divorce Judgment Checklist

The last thing you will do in your divorce when representing yourself is to prepare the divorce judgment forms.  Which divorce judgment forms you submit will vary depending on what transpired up to this point.  Meaning whether your spouse filed a response and whether there is an agreement.

In this post we are talking about the California Hybrid Divorce Judgment and providing you with a PDF Checklist the Courts use to make sure you have included all the proper forms.

The Hybrid divorce judgment checklist will be used when you have filed a Petition, the case is proceeding by default, and the parties have a written agreement.  Yes, it is possible for you to have a written agreement even if your spouse has not filed a response.  It is called a hybrid because it is a cross between a true default case (where there is no response and no agreement) and an uncontested case (where a response was filed and there is an agreement)

Depending on the type of divorce judgement you submitting the judgment forms required to ensure your divorce is not rejected are all different.  We have several videos covering the various ways and different forms necessary to file your divorce depending on the circumstances.

If you want to download the PDF attachment you can click on this link “Hybrid Dissolution Judgment Checklist California Divorce“.  We recommend that you print it out and use it as a checklist both to ensure you have all the necessary documents, but it also lets the court know what kind of divorce judgment you are filing and will help in getting it approved and not rejected.

We are licensed and bonded legal document preparation firm specializing in divorce.  We are headquartered in Santa Clarita, California and can assist you with you divorce anywhere in California.

California Uncontested Divorce Form Judgment Checklist – Santa Clarita Divorce

We have put together a comprehensive video on what documents you need in order to properly submit your California Uncontested Divorce Forms.

We are also including a link at the bottom of the post so you can actually print out and attach the uncontested divorce judgment checklist which is a good practice.  This is a good practice for two reasons.  First, you can check off the forms as you go when compiling the divorce judgment.  Second, it lets the court know what kind of divorce judgment you are submitting so they understand why you have submitted the documents you have submitted.

We have prepared a separate video and blog post for each of the different types of California divorce judgments you may have.  The California Uncontested Divorce judgment checklist will be used under the following circumstances. A Petition was filed, a Response was filed, and the parties have a written agreement.

Yes, it is still considered uncontested, even if your spouse filed a response.  To use this type of judgment, you have to comply with the specific rules prior to submitting the judgment.  Make sure you have filed the proof of service of summons, because you will have to submit that with the judgment as proof.  In addition, make sure both of you have served your Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure (PDD’s) and filed the FL-141 (Declaration Regarding Service Of Preliminary Declaration Of Disclosure) and also submit a filed copy along with your judgment paperwork.

Use this link to download a copy of the Uncontested Dissolution Judgment Checklist For California.

Make sure to print it out, write your name at the top and check off the documents as you go.  Don’t forget to follow all the instructions as far as submitting it with paid postage and making three copies of everything.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation firm that specializes in divorce.  We are headquartered in Santa Clarita, California and serve all the courts.  Give us a call for more information.


Looking For A Divorce Document Assistant In Santa Clarita

If you are looking for a divorce document assistant / preparer in Santa Clarita, you have found the right company. In fact, you have found the only company in Los Angeles County that is licensed and bonded to provide legal services and who specializes only on divorce.

It just so happens that we are the only game in town if you are looking to save money on your divorce and have your divorce case and forms expertly prepared by our legal document assistants.

Folks have been flocking to our service in record numbers and not just from Santa Clarita. When people realize they can have their entire divorce case handled by company for an affordable price, they are driving in from Los Angeles, Palmdale/Lancaster, Pomona, San Fernando Valley and Ventura.

Even folks who live outside of driving range are still using our divorce service. We have a system in place that allows us to completely handle your divorce case over the phone, email and fax.

What people like is that they never have to go to court or worry about how to complete the divorce forms. We take care of all of that. We even file all your forms with the court, keep a running file and keep your case moving through the court system.

When people call us, they are amazed at how much information we provide over the phone. Some say they have called other paralegal companies and they just did not get a good feeling about them. But after talking to us, felt very comfortable saying we provided so much information that they fully understood the divorce process.

There is reason for this. We did not just decide one day to provide a divorce document preparation firm. We worked for the Los Angeles Superior Courts for several years (and still volunteer to this day). We also worked at some o LA County's largest family law firms. In addition, we only specialize in divorce cases.

If you are looking for Los Angeles County's number one divorce document assistant company, look no further.

Give us a call and we would be happy to explain our service. One call with us and you will know why people come to us to assist them with their divorce in Los Angeles.