028: You Only Need Four Forms To File For Divorce In California

In this episode, we will discuss what forms you need to start your divorce case. You only need these four forms to file for divorce in California and get a case number issued.

There are only a few forms you need to file to get your case issued. There’s only a couple of documents the court requires you have to file to where they’ll issue the case number which needs to be served and to get the ball rolling on your divorce.

So I want to talk about what those documents are. What’s required to get your case started, what forms do you need to take to the court to get a case number issued.

Make sure to listen to the latest podcast.

How To Amend Your Divorce Paperwork | Santa Clarita Divorce

I get a lot of clients coming in for our divorce service who have already started the divorce process in Santa Clarita.  One thing that I frequently find is that the initial divorce paperwork that they have filed in incorrect.

For instance, you may have spelled one of the parties names incorrectly or perhaps used the wrong date of marriage on the Petition. (Don’t worry, you’re not alone). If you have made a mistake on any of the divorce documents and have already filed them with the court, you will have to correct the issue and re file them. And if you have already served the documents, you will have to re-serve them as well.

So I thought I would discuss the proper way to amend your divorce paperwork.  Let’s talk about the initial documents, the Summons and Petition.  On the Petition itself, if you make a mistake and need to amend the form, they already have a box for you.  In the box that says “Petitioner for” you will see there is a big “Amended” box there as well.  So this form is easy.  Simply fill out the Petition correctly and mark the “Amended” box. Re-file it with the court and you are good to go.  But wait, if you amend the Petition, you have to file another Summons.

So make sure to also file an amended Summons.  There is no box on the Summons, so you can simply write the word “amended” above the word summons.  Now because these are the initial documents to be served, make sure you serve them again together, even if you had already served the first Petition and Summons.

And one last thing on this.  Don’t for get to file the amended Proof of Service of Summons.  If you fowled up these initial forms, you will have to wait another 30 days before moving forward after serving them again on your spouse.

You can amend any of the divorce documents that you file just like this by following the instructions above.

If you ran into trouble on these initial documents, you are not alone.  But so you know, these are the easier of the documents to file in your divorce.  That said, you are a good candidate for our divorce service if you had trouble with your divorce forms right out of the gate.

Please give us a call to discuss how we can help you make your divorce as pain free (and error free) as possible.

Filed For Divorce But May Want To Reconcile | Santa Clarita Divorce

I had a newer client call me today and ask if it was possible to slow down the divorce process because they were thinking they might be able to reconcile.

We had filed their divorce earlier in the month and had mailed out the divorce documents to his wife.  We were doing a simplified service where the spouse only need sign saying she received the documents.  Their question was whether they should sign the notice of acknowledgment of receipt or just hold off on everything.

Here are your options if you fall into this situation.  First, you can simply not sign anything.  Just hold off on having your spouse served and wait to see if things work out.  This is what the 6 months cooling off period is for.  The only issue you may run into is this.  If you don’t serve your spouse within 60 to 90 days, the court will set a case management conference to have you appear in court and explain the situation of what is going on.

So this first option is good idea if your spouse knew you filed for divorce.  Why do I say this?  Because if you filed for divorce and your spouse has no idea and then received a notice in the mail from the court addressed from you and opens it, they will see that you filed for divorce.  This will not be a good day for you if this happens.

The next option is to use the notice of acknowledgement of receipt of divorce form and have them sign it.  They can sign in and then just don’t file it.  Hold onto it until you are sure you are going through with the divorce.  This will not slow anything down if you later decide to move forward.  The date your spouse was served will be the day they signed it, even if you file it months later.

One more option would simply be to complete the process of service of your divorce.  Then you don’t have to worry about the court setting any court dates.  But serving your spouse can be kind of official and if you are trying to reconcile, you may want to avoid serving your spouse as that almost always sets a negative tone.

Divorce Forms You Have To Complete After Hearing – Santa Clarita

Lately, I have had a lot of clients go to court for hearings to get some temporary orders. There are certain forms one has to complete after a hearing and wanted to discuss that with you.

When you go to court and ask the judge to make orders, say on a request for order, if order are made, you will have to fill out what is called an order after hearing.

An order after hearing is exactly what it sounds like… An order after the hearing. This is where you will fill out the form and indicate what orders the court made so the judge can sign it and make is official.

So here is how it works You go to court. The judge makes orders. Then these orders have to be placed on the order after hearing forms. Sounds easy, but there are some rules on how to do this which I will explain now.

Once the hearing is over, you will need to obtain a copy of the minute order. The minute order contains the information you will need and is a summary of what was ordered at your hearing. Usually, this will take about 3 days for the clerk to enter so you will have to go back to court to get it.

Once you have the minute order, you can complete the order after hearing. The order after hearing form has several attachments depending on what was ordered so make sure to check the appropriate boxes and attach the correct forms.

Then what you have to do is mail the order after hearing to the other party who needs to review it and sign it. They have 10 days to sign it or otherwise tell you there is something wrong with the language. Once it is agreed and the other party signs the order after hearing, it can be submitted to the judge for signature. Once the judge signs it, it will become an official order.


How To Keep Your Divorce Amicable – Santa Clarita

How To Keep Your Divorce Amicable – Santa Clarita

There are lots of benefits of having an amicable divorce in Santa Clarita. Probably the biggest advantage is cost. With an amicable divorce, you don’t need to hire an attorney which will save you a ton of money.

There are some things you can do to help keep your divorce amicable throughout the process. The common theme throughout this will be communication.

First, prior to filing for divorce it is a good idea that you try to discuss getting divorced. Try to have a few conversations with your spouse and come up with a plan. Those with a plan of action fare much better.

This means deciding on when to file, who is going to file and agreeing on a divorce document preparation company like us to meet with.

One or both of you can meet with us to make sure you are comfortable using our service. When you meet with us, we will explain the divorce process in full so both parties understand exactly what to expect throughout the process.

The next thing to do to keep your divorce amicable is to avoid hiring a process server. Nobody like having some stranger walk up to them and be handed divorce papers and told they are being served. We can help you avoid having to do this. In fact, you could simply have the spouse that needs to be served come to our office and pick up the documents. We will complete the necessary forms to tell the court that service was completed.

Most issues that come up will be about custody and visitation of children or about money. We will show you how to use the courts free services to help you understand the law so you can make decisions on any issues that you are having trouble coming to an agreement on.

Using the ideas in the article will help keep your divorce amicable. Give us a call so we can come up with a plan for you to keep things running smooth during your divorce.

Getting Divorced And Spouse Avoiding Service Santa Clarita

Getting Divorced And Spouse Avoiding Service Santa Clarita

It only takes one to get divorce and there is nothing your spouse can do to top you. But they can make it more difficult.

In most cases getting the other spouse served the divorce papers is a non issue. You either hire a process server or mail the forms following the guidelines on doing so.

But sometimes the process is not so smooth when a spouse wants to play games or be difficult. The issue with delaying the process of service is that you cannot move on until they are served.

I have two such cases currently. The first is a young couple who’s husband is playing cat and mouse with the process server. He was told wife was filing and for unknown reasons is avoiding being served.

All this is causing is a delay in the case and costing his wife more money because the process server is spending a lot more time trying to serve him. They now have to sit outside the home and conduct surveillance and get him somewhere between the front door of the house and the car.

They have already been to the home several times and he lives with room mates. He does not come to the door and they can tell they have been instructed to tell him that the husband is not home.

In the other case, the wife is being difficult in being served. The process server waits outside the house for her to come home from work. She knows there is someone waiting to serve her so pulls into the garage and closes the door.

Again, all that happens is more time is spent trying to serve her. Because she is doing this, husband decided to serve her at work which will cause her a bit of embarrassment.

When you work with us we try to keep everything going smoothly and explain the process in detail so you understand the divorce process. We try to avoid having these contentious issues in the beginning or at all for that matter.

Do You Need A Process Server For Your Santa Clarita Divorce

Do You Need A Process Server For Your Santa Clarita Divorce

There are some misunderstandings about if you need a process server for your divorce. The reason is because the answer is yes and no and depends on the circumstances. We will explain here.

Normally, the first paper that is filed on your spouse needs to be done by personal service. This would mean hiring a process server or having someone over the age of 18 who is not involved in the case serve your papers.

For instance, if you were the one to file for divorce, you would have to have them served personally. It can even be a family member. One of my clients recently had their adult child hand her dad the papers. This was obviously an amicable divorce situation where everyone was on board.

But there are times where you can simply mail the initial divorce forms to your spouse. When possible, this is my preferred method of serving divorce papers.

There is a form you can use to send the initial divorce documents to your spouse. It is called a notice of acknowledgement of receipt. You have to mail it with 2 copies and have to make sure to check the boxes that says you are serving the summons and petition and any other forms you happen to be mailing to the respondent.

When you use this form, you still have to have to complete a proof of service of summons. This is another area i see where people have issues.

When you mail the initial documents using the notice of acknowledgment of receipt, you need to also complete the proof of service and file both forms with the court. You will check the box that says you used this form and complied with the rules when doing so.

We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation company that specializes in divorce.


Would You Go On Vacation To Get Divorced

Would You Go On Vacation To Get Divorced

People come up with some pretty crazy ideas in business sometimes to stand out from the crowd.   I listened to a Podcast today of an attorney who helps people get divorced through mediation.  But with one twist.  They go on vacation to a destination of their choice to complete their divorce.

The attorney Tracey Rosswurm out of Fort Wayne, Indiana says this is a  cost effective way to get through the divorce process.  At the very least it is getting her some attention.  Heck, she was interviewed by a radio show and now I am writing about it.

Here is how it works.  The couples decide that they would rather mediate their divorce rather than going to court.  They decide on a destination that they would enjoy and go there along with the attorney.

The idea is that you are in a nice place without the daily distractions of life.  You can focus on the issues of the divorce at hand and there is nowhere to go.

So what about the  cost.  The attorney says that the costs of the “destination divorce” is much less than that of going to court.  That would be true if the divorce ever ended up in court in the first place.  But certainly, mediation is more cost effective than both spouses hiring an attorney.

I think there will only be a few people that would choose to do this.  It is hard for me to wrap my head around this idea.  If I were going through a divorce, I would not want to ruin some vacation destination that I love by leaving memories of being there for finalizing a divorce.

I would love to hear your comments on this.  Would you go on vacation to get  divorced?  Do you think this is a sustainable business model or a short lived marketing ploy?


Another Post Judgment Child Support Motion In Central District

Another Post Judgment Child Support Motion In Central District

As legal document assistants we are authorized to work directly for folks in preparing their legal documents.  And lately we have been seeing a huge increase in post judgment motions being filed .

This particular motion is asking for a modification of child support and they want the other party to pay for their attorney fees.

The motion that was filed was a request for more child support and stated that the father was now making more money.  In most cases, you file a motion to modify child support if there is a change in circumstance such as a parent making more or less money.

In this case, the mother stated that father was making more money now and wanted the Court to order higher child support based on the guideline child support limits  and that she was earning less money.

It all comes down to how much the parties make and how much custody and visitation each of them have.  The problem sometimes is determining how much the parties truly make, especially when they own a business and are not receiving a paycheck that can be verified.

This motion also asked for the other party to pay for attorneys fees.  That never rubbed my right.  Tell me what you think about this.

A spouse hires an attorney to modify child support.  She works and had access to funds, but because father makes more money, makes a request in the motion that the husband is to pay for all her attorney fees.  If this motion is granted, then the husband has to pay for his wife’s attorney to file a motion against him.  And just to rub salt in the wound, he is not hiring an attorney himself.  He is going to have us prepare our firm prepare the response so he does not have to pay for an attorney he can’t afford.

We specialize in helping folks get through their divorce including preparing post judgment request for orders and motions.  We are headquartered in Santa Clarita and we serve all of Los Angeles County and all the Courts.

Cost Of Divorce Attorneys Unaffordable For Many In Santa Clarita

Cost Of Divorce Attorneys Unaffordable For Many In Santa Clarita

It’s a fact.  Many people cannot afford the cost of an attorney for their divorce.  Either they don’t have the money or, if they do, are not willing to spend it to get divorced.  That is where our divorce legal document assistance comes into play.

Here is an example of a client that, but for our service, would have been left to figure things out on his own.

A client was recently served with a Request For Order with the mom asking to move away with their child to another state.  He called me to see what we could do for him.  I advised him we would help him prepare a response to the motion along with a declaration, etc.

In his email to me, explaining what he wanted to address on the declaration, he asked me if I thought he would be okay representing himself.  I answered him honestly.  I told him that many people represent themselves.  I told him that because the mom had an attorney, he may be at a disadvantage in his case.

Then I answered his question with a question.  I asked him if he could afford to pay $5,000 to $7,500 for an attorney to prepare his response and represent him at the court hearing.  He replied that he could not afford to pay that much money for an attorney.

And sometimes that is all it comes down to.  Of course, everyone would love to use an attorney for their divorce case if it was affordable.  But it isn’t.  In fact, because attorneys are seeing less and less clients these days, they are actually raising their hourly billing rates to make more off the clients that they do have.

Yes, gone are the days of refinancing our homes to pay for everything.  Cars, toys and even divorce.  Now we feel the pain of that big purchase, going further into debt to pay for the things we don’t really need.

The cost of divorce attorneys in Santa Clarita are unaffordable for many, but there is help out there and we are it.  We are licensed and bonded in the County of Los Angeles to provide legal document assistance.  We specialize in divorce and can provide you with a complete understanding of the divorce process and help you with most family law related matters.  Give us a call for more information.