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.


California Divorce Tip # 1 – A Cheaper Way To Divorce In California

Sometimes I feel like I am the only one that talks about divorce on our blogs. I think because i am. At least about how to save money on divorce and how the divorce process works in California.

I decided to do a daily or weekly tip on divorce that will talk about just about anything from home to complete forms to have to save money, etc.

Today's tip is about something we talk about fairly often, but could always use more exposure. This is about the benefits of filing a hybrid divorce. We know we are starting to get some traction and getting the word out about hybrid divorces in California because we are starting to get calls from new clients saying they watched our video and want to file a hybrid divorce.

A hybrid divorce is simply a cross between a default divorce and a divorce where your spouse filed a response. Most people (attorneys that is) will tell you that you have to file a response if you want to be involved in the case. This is not true.

Here is the definition of a hybrid divorce. “The Petitioner filed for divorce, and no response was filed. The parties will complete their financial disclosures and enter into a written agreement”.

So what the courts are telling us is that it is possible to enter into a written agreement in your divorce without having to file a response.

In all of my divorce cases, I prepare a hybrid divorce for my clients. Doing so, allows the parties to save over $400 in filing fees.

People have come to us because they don't want to spend money on attorneys fees. So obviously cost is a concern. That is why we have made a point of discussing these money savings tips about divorce and a cheaper way of getting divorced in California.

We are are a licensed and bonded legal document assistant firm headquartered in Santa Clarita, CA. We serve all the courts in Los Angeles County and California.

Please give us a call if you would like to learn more about the hybrid divorce process as a cheaper way to get divorced in California.


How Can I Determine If Spouse Filed For Divorce | Santa Clarita Divorce

I was asked this question over the weekend.  “How can I determine if my spouse has filed for divorce?” If you have not been served divorce papers yet, how do you know if a divorce case has been filed.  I thought this was a good question.

There are a couple of reasons why someone would want to find out if their spouse had filed for divorce.  Perhaps, your spouse has indicated that they filed or are going to file, but you have not been served any divorce papers yet.  You might be feeling that they are delaying and you plan on filing if they have not yet.

Another reason you might be trying to see if your spouse filed for divorce is out of plain curiosity.  Perhaps the two of you have been having disputes and you have a feeling that your spouse filed for divorce, but your not sure.

Regardless of your reasons for wanting to determine if your spouse filed for divorce, there is only one way to do this.

There is no public database that you can access from your home computer that will let you know if your spouse has filed for divorce.  The only way to check from home is if you have a case number.  Obviously, we do not have a case number in this scenario.

So what you would have to do then i go down to the actual courthouse.  You can go to the local courthouse and have the clerk search by name and date of birth for your name or your spouses name to see if they have filed for divorce.

In Los Angeles County, the family law clerks office has a computer available for public use where you can access the files and search for yourself.

Once you locate the name you are looking for, you can see what the case number is.  Once you have the case number you can use that to access the online case summary off the court website from any computer.

Keep in mind that there is a delay from the time the case is filed until the time it shows up in the courts computer system.


More California Divorce Cases Being Rejected

We are starting to see more divorce cases in California being rejected by the courts. This is especially true in Los Angeles County.

The divorce courts use a checklist of items they can reject your case for and is 3 pages long. We are actually considering preparing a video on each of the reasons your case can be rejected so you can avoid having this happen to you or fix it if it has.

Sometimes the divorce cases are rejected for good cause. Meaning you forgot to include a necessary page or used the wrong language or forgot to check mark a box you were supposed to.

But now, we are seeing more random reasons for rejection. Most recently we had a case rejected and the clerk requested that the papers be collated. Collated? Really?

On another case, the case was rejected because the documents were not in the correct order. You will note that the court does not tell anyone what order the forms should be in. And in fact, the order can vary depending on who is reviewing the judgments.

I have some inside knowledge of how these divorce judgments are reviewed, because i am often the one down at court reviewing them. I have been an intern and volunteer my time at the courts to make sure i am always up to date with any changes.

I can tell you that the issue with collating and putting the judgment in a certain order is something new.

I honestly believe that the courts are so overwhelmed that they are just looking for any reason to reject your judgment. If the judgment is submitted in an unorganized fashion, they will just reject it instead of reorganizing it for you.

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 in Los Angeles, California.


Why Summary Dissolution Is Not Right For You | California Divorce

Why Summary Dissolution Is Not Right For You | California Divorce

Have you heard of a Summary Divorce?  It is often touted as an easy way to get divorced if you qualify.   It is also referred to as a cheaper way of getting divorced.  Neither of these statements are true.

We have covered what the qualifications are to using a summary divorce in other articles.  We are not going to cover those again here.  What we are going to do is discuss why using a summary dissolution is not right for you, even if you qualify.

First, let’s talk about the paperwork.  The divorce forms in a summary dissolution are not any easier for you if you are not familiar with how divorce works in the first place.  So if you are thinking about completing your own divorce, it is going to be just as confusing and difficult either way.

The next myth is that the summary dissolution process is less expensive.  In fact, the summary divorce is actually twice as expensive!  How is this, you say?  If you look at a normal divorce petition, there is only one Petitioner.   When the Petitioner files for divorce, he or she will pay the filing fee.  The filing fee in LA County is $435 and most of California follows suit or is higher.

The summary dissolution is actually called, “Joint Petition For Summary Dissolution”.  Joint as in both of you are Petitioner’s.  Joint as in both of you are going to pay a filing fee!

Yes, you heard that right.  If you file for summary dissolution, both you and your spouse have to pay a filing fee.  That just doubled your costs.

With a regular default case or hybrid style divorce, you are going to pay only one filing fee.  That is because in a hybrid or default, the other party does not file a response.

Don’t fall prey to being convinced to  use a summary dissolution.  I got a call yesterday from a client who stated he wanted to file a summary dissolution and had read up on it.  He had no idea it was going to cost him twice as much.

We specialize in California divorce and can assist you with preparing your divorce forms at an affordable price.

Should I Speak With My Spouse During Divorce

Should I Speak With My Spouse During Divorce

Not all divorces start out amicably and no divorce is going to be completely easy. It is normal to not want to discuss the issues with your spouse.

But communication is key if you ever expect to get through your divorce. How else are you going to resolve your issues if you are not speaking to each other?

I know it might be easier to ignore and avoid dealing with what is happening, but things will only get worse if you don’t communicate with your spouse during divorce. It is very much like a toothache. Ignore it and it will always get worse and cost you more money.

I have a client who falls into this category. He just wants to get divorced without speaking to his wife. His wife has been reaching out to him in an attempt to discuss the issues, but he has refused to communicate with her. Going as far as changing his cell phone number.

He asked me if he should be speaking to her and that she said unless he does, she will be forced to hire an attorney.

As I am saying in this article, I told him that communication is important if he expects to get through the divorce process. Furthermore, if he does not speak to her, what other choice does she have but to hire an attorney who will communicate for her.

I know it is not easy, but unless you communicate with your spouse during divorce things will only get worse.

In this case, if the wife hires an attorney, not only will the divorce end up costing them a bundle of money, but it will most certainly muddy the relationship further and make coming to a compromise on the issues of their divorce that much more difficult.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation company that specializes in divorce. We are headquartered in Santa Clarita and serve all of Los Angeles County.