Reasons Why You Don’t Want To File A Summary Dissolution In California Divorce

Reasons Why You Don’t Want To File A Summary Dissolution In California Divorce

Hi! Tim Blankenship here, owner of

Today I wanted to talk to you about why you shouldn’t use a summary dissolution.

A summary dissolution is a divorce process where the courts allow you to go through the process and what they say is a much simpler way. You can’t have a lot of assets, you can’t have a lot of debts and there are a lot of other restrictions on using a summary dissolution.

The problem with the summary dissolution is this – it is a joint petition. What that means is both of you are considered the petitioner.

On the joint petitioner for summary dissolution form, because it is a joint petition, both of you (you and your spouse), have to pay a filing fee. That’s not the case in a, say, a hybrid divorce or in a true default case for only one part pays a filing fee. So the court says that this is an easier process going through the summary dissolution process but it’s twice as expensive.

In a court filing fee in LA County for instance, it’s $435. If you were to file a true default case, you’d be paying $435 to get divorced. On a summary case, both of you are going to have to pay the $435, so it doubles your cost. So while they say it is simpler, which it’s not, it is twice as expensive to do a summary dissolution as it is a regular dissolution.

Because of the restrictions on the summary dissolution, many people won’t qualify to begin with. And in fact, I have to be honest with you, I prepare divorce cases every day, that’s what we do as a specialty, and the summary divorce process, I think, is more complicated than going through a regular divorce proceeding.

The summary dissolution says there are all these benefits as far as staying out of court, not having to fill out other paperwork. But you’re doing so much other forms; you’re doing the entire financial analysis, essentially trying to prove to the court that you qualify for the summary dissolution. So it’s actually a more complicated and more costly process.

I don’t recommend anyone do the summary dissolution except for one reason, if both of you qualify for a fee waiver. Which means if you qualify for a fee waiver, neither of you will have to pay a filing fee. That’d make more sense for you to do this because neither of you will have to pay a filing fee, therefore, it’s free.

Now this is the case, whether you do a summary dissolution or whether you do a regular dissolution, it’s just a matter of what you’re more comfortable, doing the summary or, say, true default or hybrid style case.

This is Tim Blankenship with

These are the reasons why we don’t suggest people use the summary dissolution even if you think you qualify.

Give me a call; we do handle divorce cases all throughout California.

If you want some more information on summary dissolution and why doing a hybrid or a true default case maybe in your best interest. Please give me a call; you can reach me direct at 661-281-0266.


What Property Do I List On Schedule of Assets and Debts | Santa Clarita Divorce

What Property Do I List On Schedule of Assets and Debts | Santa Clarita Divorce

Hi, Tim Blankenship here, owner of

And today I want to talk to you about problems and issues that we’re seeing and questions of people have when it comes to completing the schedule of assets and debts.

The schedule of assets and debts is one of the forms that you’ll be using when completing your preliminary declaration of disclosures. This is a form that will be served along with the income and expense declaration.

The schedule of assets and debts is a list of all property that you have. It’s property you had prior to marriage, property you had during marriage and property you have after separation. If you’ve had a long term period of separation, there may not be any community property.

The common issue that we’re seeing is that folks think that when they’re completing their schedule of assets and debts that they’re only to list the property that’s either belongs to them, owned by them or in their name alone, and that’s incorrect.

The property list on the schedule of assets and debts isn’t going to be all property; property before marriage, during marriage and after separation as well as property that belongs to your spouse, property that your spouse had prior to marriage that you’re aware of, property that’s in his name alone. Even the house, if it’s in your husband’s name alone, let’s say, and it was before marriage, it’s going to be a separate property you still list.

Not only community property but separate property on the schedule of assets and debts.

By listing the property, you’re not suggesting that it’s your property. You’re just listing the property that you’re aware of that was accumulated before the marriage, during the marriage or after separation and all that’s used for down the road is to be a template, if you will, for how that property is going to be distributed.

On the schedule of assets and debts, when you list property, one thing you can do is indicate if the property is going to be yours or it’s going to be your spouse’s. If you’re the petitioner, you can simply place a ‘P’ in front of it. If it’s going to go to the respondent, you can simply place an ‘R’.

There’s an area where there’s a date where that property was purchased. And if it’s prior to marriage, just put ‘prior to marriage’ or ‘after marriage’ or ‘during separation’ and It’ll help you determine if it’s going to be a community asset or a separate property asset.

So I just want to clear that up. I can see that on a daily basis where there’s confusion out of what property is to get listed on there.

Again, my name is Tim Blankenship with If you have any questions, feel free to give me a call at 661-281-0266. We’re a low cost, affordable document preparation firm that specialized in divorce in Los Angeles County.

How To Hire A Process Server For Divorce | Santa Clarita

How To Hire A Process Server For Divorce | Santa Clarita

Hi this is Tim Blankenship, owner of SCV Legal Doc Assist. We’re a licensed and bonded legal document preparation firm specializing in divorce.

This article is for those folks who are looking for a process server.

We are not a licensed process server, but we do know who the good process servers are. So what we’re doing is a referral service where you can work with us, give us a call if you need a process server. We will take care of setting it up, so you will basically be paying us and then we will take care of the process service by coordinating the service of your spouse for your divorce case.

So there are several process servers in the LA area that are not good process servers as they’ll take your money and not perform the service, or not do a good job, and not find them want to find them and want to charge you more. This happened to a client of ours recently.

So if you contact us, you know, we specialize in divorce. We help people get through the divorce process, that’s our specialty. We work with a couple of different process servers, depending on where on you’re at, where on Santa Clarita, anywhere in LA County, or outside of LA County we can help you.

So give us a call. You’ll pay us direct, and we will coordinate the entire process; hiring the process server, getting them served, and then filing your proof of service with the courts. That way you don’t have to worry about looking up, are they going to do the right thing, you know, the typing of the forms, we’ll take care of the whole shot for you.

So if you are looking for a process server, just give us a call, we’ll take care of it, coordinate it, we’ll bill you direct, and then you don’t have to worry about it.

Give me a call, my name is Tim Blankenship, 661-281-0266. We are a licensed and bonded legal document preparation firm so if you’re looking for someone to help you with the paperwork, give us a call for that as well.

How to Get Temporary Divorce Orders If You’re the Respondent | Santa Clarita Divorce

How To Get Temporary Divorce Orders If You’re The Respondent | Santa Clarita Divorce

Hi! Tim Blankenship here, owner of SCV Legal Doc Assist. We specialize in divorce in LA County.

Today I wanted to talk to you about question I was asked from a gal who was looking for some assistance and found us online. Her question was: “If you’re the respondent, is there a way of moving the case forward especially if you want spousal support?

Her question basically alluded to the fact that her husband was the petitioner, had filed for divorce and was kind of dragging his feet. The reason she felt he was dragging his feet was because he didn’t want to pay child support.

She thinks that by him delaying the case, he will be effectively paying child support for however long he decides to drag this out. So her question was, how can she become the petitioner so she can then move the case forward, and that’s an interesting question.

Again, I haven’t been asked that and I wanted to clarify that.

If you’re the petitioner in your divorce case, you’re the petitioner all the way through; if you’re the respondent, you’re going to be the respondent all the way through.

Regardless of being the petitioner or the respondent, you have just as much right to move the case forward and equal access to the law as the other party does. So as the respondent, what you would need to do is simply, either, continue on with the case and do the next step that’s required; if she’s only been served, she should then file a response.

If she’s already filed a response, she should then do her preliminary declaration of disclosure. And once she’s done that, she can then later request the petitioner to do his. This is what’ll get the case moving forward. If you talk to an attorney, which I am not, they may suggest that you file for a request for trial setting.

This again, would get the court involved and get the case moving.

Now, her specific question was in regards to how to obtain child support. At any time during the divorce case, you can ask the court to give you temporary orders for just about anything. So in this case, she wants to get temporary orders for child support pending the final judgement of her divorce case.

To do this she would file a FL-300, this is a request for order form, and in it you would describe the circumstances and why you’re requesting child support. You then get a hearing, the judge would hear the hearing, and then ultimately make an order on support, whatever that may be.

So hope that clarifies it for you. It was a great question Wanda. I’m sure if you have that question, everyone else does, so hope that clarifies the situation for you.

Again, my name is Tim Blankenship, owner of SCV Legal Doc Assist. We do specialize in divorce. Please give us a call at 661-281-0266. You can always get more information on our website at Thanks!

How To Complete Your Divorce Fast | Santa Clarita Divorce

How To Complete Your Divorce Fast | Santa Clarita Divorce

Hi! This is Tim Blankenship, owner of SCV Legal Doc Assist. We’re a licensed and bonded legal document preparation firm specializing in divorce.

And today I want to talk to you about how to complete your divorce fast.

You may have heard that there is a 6 month waiting period to get your divorce completed. And while that is still true, there is some confusion about that.

Many folks think that they file for divorce and then they have to wait 6 months to turn in all their paperwork—that’s not true. What you want to do is get your divorce paperwork done as quickly as possible.

As a matter of policy with our firm, what we do is we like to get all of your divorce documents done in the first 30 to 60 days. The reason for this is the backlog at the courthouse in approving judgments is running anywhere from 3 to 4 months. So what that means is we can submit your divorce paperwork, your judgment, in fact all of your paperwork in completion within 2 months get submitted to the court knowing it’s going to take them 3- 4 months to approve.

The benefit of this is, in the alternative, if you wait until that 6 month to submit your divorce paperwork, it’s going to take you another 3-4 months after that. So you’re looking at more like 9 to 10 months as opposed to 6 months in getting your divorce completed.

So if you want to get your divorce completed rapidly, please give us a call. We can do that for you. We are located in Santa Clarita but we do service all of Los Angeles.

Again, my name is Tim Blankenship, owner of SCV Legal Doc Assist that’s 661-281-0266. Thanks!

How To Prepare Nullity Of Marriage | Santa Clarita Divorce

How To Prepare Nullity Of Marriage | Santa Clarita Divorce

Hi! This is Tim Blankenship, owner of SCV Legal Doc Assist. We’re a licensed and bonded legal preparation service, headquarter is at Santa Clarita and serving all of California.

Today I want to talk to you about completing a nullity of your marriage.

We recently successfully helped this client and his wife complete a nullity of their marriage and this was based on having a prior existing marriage. The wife got a prior existing marriage. She got married; it was a 6 year marriage. They’ve been separated for several years and have three kids together and we’re able to help them get their divorce nullified because the spouse was married at the time she got married to this gentleman.

That’s one of the reasons that a marriage can be avoided.

This couple had actually spent over $25,000 prior to obtaining services to help them with an attorney trying to get this done and they were unable to successfully negotiate that. We were able to do that for a flat fee. Both spouses were in agreement which was obviously helpful. They were not contesting it. If it were contested you’d probably need an attorney because one party is going to argue that it shouldn’t be nullified and the other one wants it nullified. In this case, both parties were in agreement. They gave all their testimony to that effect as well as preparing declarations indicating that they were in agreement; that they have the divorce nullified and that the spouse was married prior to getting married again.

So we were able to get that done for them for a flat fee. In most cases, if you’re going through nullity of marriage, you’re probably going to, at least, need a consultation with an attorney, and if it’s going to be contested, you certainly will need an attorney.

I’d work for a law firm for several years and not once did we have a nullity come through our office. So we’re pretty happy when we’re able to successfully get this judgment of this nullity of marriage done being a non-law firm and you’re doing it for a cost that is affordable for these clients after spending so much money with an attorney.

My name is Tim Blankenship, owner of SCV Legal Doc Assist. We specialize in divorce and family law. If you have any questions, please give us a call, you can reach me directly at 661-281-0266.


What Does Personal Service Mean | Santa Clarita Divorce

What Does Personal Service Mean | Santa Clarita Divorce

Hi there! This is Tim Blankenship owner of SCV Legal Doc Assist. We’re a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service and we do specialize on only divorce. We can help you anywhere in California.

Today were going to talk to you about what is personal service.

I have the court’s website here; you can read along if you like. I’m just going to go over a bit and explain exactly what personal service is.

Now, this is in regard to divorce. It could be different in other civil cases, so just keep in mind; this is only in regards to divorce. Now we’ve previously talked about who can be a process server/who can act as a process server.

And in this article, we’ll be talking about what it means to personally serve and when you might need to use personal service.

In the divorce case, there are certain things that need to be served by person and some things that can be served by mail. But in personal service, it’s pretty self-explanatory—it’s someone personally serving it.

Just make sure you’re not a party to the divorce, so you have to have some other third- party serving the paperwork, and to do it personally means to personally have them the paperwork.

Now some things to know about, if you’re going through divorce and you’re going to have a friend, a neighbor or someone like that to serve your papers instead of using, say, a processor, they’re going to have to fill out the proof of service. So just make sure if it’s a friend or relative or something, they’re going to know who this person is, what they look like and so forth. So they’re going to know who that person is, who they’re handing the paperwork to. Just make sure that when they’re done, that they mark time, the date and location and their name and they sign a proof of service indicating that your spouse was served.

That way, you can file that form with the court and that’s what actually kicks off the divorce process and start the six (6) month waiting period.

Now, it happens on occasion when one of the spouses won’t accept the paperwork.

What happened if you have your friend or relative hand your spouse’s paperwork and they refuse to receive it or they slam the door on their face or they threw it on the ground or they tear it up—it doesn’t matter. It says here that if the party being served does not want to take the paperwork, they can be left on the ground in front of him/her. If she/he takes the papers and tears them up or throws them on the ground, it is still considered to be a valid proof of service. The person being served does not have to sign anything and that’s probably the most important thing. It’s not what they have to sign and acknowledge receiving it, it’s just someone has to stand there and hand them and if they don’t receive them, just drop them on the ground and your still going to fill up the same proof of service saying that you served so and so on such date at this time and at this place.

If you have any more questions about proof of service or if you’re looking for a company to professionally prepare your divorce papers, please give us a call.


How To File Divorce Papers By Mail | Santa Clarita Divorce

How To File Divorce Papers By Mail | Santa Clarita Divorce

Hi! This is Tim Blankenship, owner of SCV Legal doc Assist. We’re a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service, specializing in divorce.

Today, we’re going to talk about how to file papers by mail with the courts.

The courts are very good, believe or not, about accepting your fillings by mail. So if you’re not near your local family law branch, for instance, we’re located at Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita Valley does not have a law court, believe it or not, as big as we are.

So our closest court would be the San Fernando branch and personally, I don’t like driving down to San Fernando if I don’t have to, I do on occasion to volunteer and so forth. But for the most part, I mail file all of my documents.

So if you’re working with us, you can expect that all of the forms that I file would be by mail. Unless I have a whole bunch of new cases to go down there and file, I will, but other than that, I like to mail my documents in.

So, in this article, I wanted to show you how you are going to go about doing that. Now it’s not going to be much different that if you were to file your papers by driving down there. But the way that gas cost these days, you can put a 44 cents stamp on it and think you’re going to be better off.

When you want to file by mail, let’s talk about filing your initial divorce paperwork.

Let’s say, you just want to start your divorce case and you haven’t filed anything, you don’t have a case number or anything. So, what you’re going to want to do is get your summon and your petition and all the forms you need to file for divorce.

You’re going to hole punch them, staple them and make copies (you want to mail down 2 copies of every form). What you’ll do is you’ll take, say your summons, hole punch it and this would be your original. You’re going to sign it and you’re going to make 2 copies. You’re going to take those, the copies of everything.

You’re going to have your summons in two copies, your petitions in 2 copies and any other form that’s required by your court. You’re going to do the original, hole punched, and then you’re going to have 2 copies. You’re going to mail that to the court.

Now, the court is going to get that. We’re talking to government officials, so let’s make sure we tell them what we want them to do. I always send a cover letter down with anything I file, even if it’s a proof of service, I send a letter;

I just write a letter and say:

To: Clerk of The Court, Please find the enclosed documents, if it’s a new case, please find a new case for a family law filing. Enclosed you’ll find the following documents: summons, petition (and anything else you’re sending them and then ask them to please send you a conformed copy of the filing in the self-addressed stamped envelope).

So what that means is yes, you’re going to need to send a self-addressed stamped envelope, if you expect to get anything else and know that you’ve sent them back in the court. They’re not going to mail it to you otherwise, you’ll have to go down and pick it up.

So make sure you send down, with your cover letter and all you originals and copies, a self-addressed stamped envelope with sufficient postage for the items you’re going to mail back.

Now remember, you’re going to have copies of up to 5 forms, you have 2 copies coming back to you, so you may want to weigh those or just throw in a bunch of stamps to make sure you’re going to get those back because it’s really important that you want to make sure you get your filing back because once you send a new case down there, a good luck having them located if you don’t get your copies back.

You can file your papers by mail and this includes, again, like we just discussed, your entire new case or if you have proof of service or anything else you serve, just make sure you send a cover letter, the original which is hole punched, copies and a self-addressed stamped envelope and I’ve never had a problem filing divorce cases or getting copies of filed documents that I’m filing with them and getting copies back from the court.

Again, this is Tim Blankenship. I’m a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service. I specialize only on divorce.

We are centrally located in Santa Clarita, California. We can help you anywhere across Los Angeles and California, please give me a call (661-281-0266) or you can find us at

Who Can Serve Divorce Papers | Santa Clarita

Who Can Serve Divorce Papers | Santa Clarita

Hi there! This is Tim Blankenship, owner of SCV Legal Doc Assist. We’re a licensed and bonded legal preparation service and we do specialize in the divorce process.

Today, we are going to talk about who can be a process server, who can you use to serve your divorce papers essentially.

I wanted to give you the court’s version of who can be a process server and what they consider to be about process’ service when it comes to your divorce.

Now, what we’re talking about here is serving the initial divorce documents, so this would be your summons and petition in particularly. So, looking at the court’s website, we’ve identified a process server as the ‘server’ or the ‘process server’ can be a friend or relative, a coworker, a county sheriff or marshal, professional process server, or anyone over 18 who is not part of the case.

So, when it comes to divorce, this is a very important aspect right here. This essentially means, you cannot serve your own divorce paper, you cannot hand your divorce paperwork to your own spouse. It may make the most sense especially in many cases where husband and wife are still living together.

When you file for divorce it may seem silly to have to get someone else, another third party, to hand the paperwork done for them so they can then hand the paperwork to your spouse, but if you don’t do that, you’re not going to have an effective process of service. You cannot serve your own spouse—I just want to make that very clear.

Make sure that the person is not party to the case. In divorce, if it’s not you or your husband, it can pretty much be anyone else as long as they’re 18 years of age and make sure that they know how to fill out the proof of service of summons.

When you work with our service, our legal document preparation service for your divorce, we will take care of all that. In fact, we don’t even like to use the process of having a process server go out or using the proof of service.

We use what’s called a Notice and Acknowledgement of Receipt. It’s an easier way and a cost effective way because you don’t have to hire a process server to server the divorce papers.

If you’re looking for a professional, licensed and bonded legal preparation service, please give us a call. You can find us at, or any of our websites. We do specialize in the divorce process. We provide a 100% online divorce solution, so any in Los Angeles County or California for that matter, we would be happy to help you out. You can reach us at 661-281-0266.

What Is A No Fault Divorce | Santa Clarita

What Is A No Fault Divorce | Santa Clarita

Hi there! This is Tim Blankenship owner of SCV Legal Doc Assist. We’re a licensed and bonded legal document preparation service specialized in the divorce process.

Today, we’re answering the question ‘What is a “no fault” divorce?’ and ‘Is California a “no fault” divorce state?’.

So, because I’m not an attorney, I can’t give legal advice and whenever I feel that it’s kind of on the edge, I will always give you the information but I’ll point you to where I found it. So it’s not me giving you the advice, technically, it’s the court.

Today we are answering this question using the California court (judicial branch of California) website– Frequently Asked Questions and let’s see what they say about what is “no fault” divorce.

In California, says, a “no fault” divorce is any divorce where the spouse or domestic partner that is asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse or domestic partner did something wrong.

California is a “no fault” divorce state, which means that to get divorced in California you NEVER have to prove that the other person did something wrong. To get a no fault divorce, 1 spouse or domestic partner has to state that the couple cannot get along. Legally, this is called “irreconcilable differences”.

Now, this is interesting because I get calls and on occasion the spouses contacted me wants to tell me what they’ve done or what the spouse has done and why they’re getting divorce and they want to file first because they feel there’ll be some advantage. Well, there is no advantage to filing first. Second of all, the courts honestly don’t care what reason, even if you don’t have a reason at all to get divorced. All you have to do is mark this box saying irreconcilable differences and there’s no proof.

They’re never going to ask you on what’s going on or why can’t you get along. They don’t care. That’s why it’s called a “no fault” divorce and California is a “no fault” divorce state. So you don’t have to ever reason to get divorced.

If you’re looking for an affordable way to get through your divorce process, please give us a call or visit our website for more information.

Thank you!