When The Divorce Court Wants Your Matter Set For Hearing

When The Divorce Court Wants Your Matter Set For Hearing

Okay, this is another article about helping you with issues related to submitting your divorce judgment in California. This article discusses what to do if the court rejects your judgment and advised you to set the your divorce case for a hearing using form FAM-031.

Listen to the podcast where I explain in detail why you received this notice and what you need to do.

The FAM-031 is a form you use to set your case for a hearing. The reject letter you receive that has this section marked simply means that the court found something in your divorce judgment that they have a question on and they want you to come to court so they can ask you about it.

We see this happen mostly on default divorce cases. Default divorce cases, either default with agreements or default without agreements also known as a true default.

Here is what you do…

File the request for default setting form FAM-031 and check off the boxes that apply. They will usually say what the issue is that will relate to one of the check boxes on the request for default setting form.

The most common issues and reasons we see the court setting hearing is as follows:

  1. You are trying to terminate spousal support on a long term marriage
  2. You are asking for a specific amount of support
  3. Request for no child visitation or supervised visitation
  4. Request for child support either for more or less than what the court would order
  5. Any other reason… If the court states the specific issue then use the “other box” If you don’t know the reason then use the “other box” and write “per court request”

Having your divorce judgment rejected is very frustrating and learning you now have to wait for a hearing (which can be as much as 90 days off or longer) will likely not make you happy especially considering you were opening the package from the court thinking your divorce case was finalized, only to learn it is not.

Please call us if you would like assistance with your divorce case.

California Divorce & Children | Will I Have To Go To Court

If you have children and are going through a divorce, will you have to go to court? Put another way, if you have children is going to court mandatory?

I was asked this the other day of a new client of ours who said she had heard from a friend who went through divorce that if you have children, you have to go to court.

This is not the case.

As with any other issues you need to settle as part of your California divorce, the only reason you would have to see a judge or go to a court hearing is in the event you do not agree. Because we are always discussing the amicable approach to divorce in California, i will answer this questions like i do all others.  The only reason you will ever go to court is in the event you and your spouse do not agree.

The same applies to when you have children and going through a divorce in California.  The courts don’t want you in their courtroom unless you ask to to have your matter heard by a judge which is called a hearing or trial.  Just because you have kids does not mean that court is mandatory.

When going through a divorce in California, the children are just one more part of the puzzle that needs to be figured out between the parties.  You will need to come up with a parenting plan of sorts. This may be a full parenting plan where you and your spouse account for every minute of every day of your children’s custody schedule or can be as simple as indicating to the court that you and your spouse will have joint legal and joint physical custody of the children.

Most of our clients decide that they do not want the court’s involvement in their divorce. Meaning, they prefer not to have specific child custody orders in place so they can have the flexibility in their parenting. Many of our clients do this because they do not feel it necessary to memorialize or put into writing how they are going to handle the child custody situation.

You can decide to have a detailed child custody schedule or you can simply say that the parties will make the decisions regarding the child custody and visitation on an ongoing basis in the best interest of the children.

Most people re surprised to know that it can be this simple when it comes to children and divorce, but it is just that simple. Or i should say, can be that simple if you want it to be.

Stipulating (Agreeing) Vs. Litigating California Divorce Matters

The word stipulate means “to agree” to something.  I get lots of calls where people want to modify, change, or create new orders related to their divorce both during the divorce proceeding or years after their divorce has been finalized.

There is a misconception that in order to have these orders changed that you have to go to court and see the judge.  This is not true and would be best explained with an example.

I had a guy call this week that said he wanted to file a motion to go to court so he could reduce his child support.  His income had gone down, while his former spouse’s had gone up.  His change in circumstances warranted making a change to the child support.

He was calling us because he had contacted an attorney who wanted $4,500 to file the motion and represent him for this action.  When he spoke with me, the first thing I asked him is if his spouse would agree to make the changes without having to go to court.

I told him that in cases where the numbers don’t lie, such as in this case using a dissomaster calculation (what the court’s use to calculate support) it is worth a shot to contact his former spouse and just explain it to her cordially to see if they can come to an agreement without having to go to court.

I told him to simply state the facts.  That his income has gone down and hers has gone up and per a new calculation the child support should be changed.

He then asked me why the attorney he spoke to would not have mentioned this tactic.  My answer was that there is no money to be made by parties that are in agreement.  They would rather suggest a course of action that drives in the most revenue for their law firm, essentially doing what is best for them and not their clients.

Make sure to grab your copy of my book while your at it. There is a lot of great information and you will learn a lot about divorce.

Moved From Orange County To Los Angeles : Where To File Your Divorce Case

When you are going through a divorce or about to start your divorce and you move, especially move to different county, you are going to have to decide where you want to file your divorce case. Keep in mind that there are ruled of where you can file as discussed below.

We had new clients that fell into this situation. They lived in Orange County where they were selling their home and in the meantime, both spouses moved to Los Angeles County. The problem the occurs here is that on the divorce Petition form FL-100, it states that at least one of the spouses in the divorce has to have lived in the State of California for at least 6 months and lives in the County they are filing for divorce in at least 3 months immediately prior to filing for divorce in that County.

So the question became where do we file their divorce case? In Los Angeles or Orange County? Here is what was decided and why. They had lived in Orange County for some time and had their primary residence there. Even though they have moved out of Orange County recently, they had most recently lived in Orange County for the 3 months prior to filing for divorce. Another problem that there was is that it would be difficult to file for divorce in Orange County using Los Angeles County addresses. The courts would call that into question.

So what we did is had them use their current address in Orange County so we could file the case in Orange County now. The other thing we could have done is wait the 3 months to file their divorce case in Los Angeles County. But as you can probably guess, waiting was not something that they wanted to consider. So we are filing their divorce case in Orange County.

I wanted to write and article and shoot a quick video on this because many folks find themselves moving either prior to starting their divorce or after filing their divorce. If you move out after filing for divorce, that does not change anything with the courts. Just make sure to complete a change of address with the court.

Where you live is only a concern when move prior to filing for divorce.

Just remember. Per the divorce Petition, you must live in California for 6 months and in the County for 3 months prior to filing for divorce in that county.

Why You Don’t Need A Divorce Attorney : The Book I’m Writing

I have decided to write a book. It has been on my mind and sort of in the planning stages for about a year, but I am doing it… Finally.

The working title of the book is, “Why You Don’t Need A Divorce Attorney, A Paralegal’s Take On Divorce, Responsibility and Compromise”

The idea behind the book is to create a resource for people to have that essentially explains why I feel most people don’t need a divorce attorney when going through divorce.

Over the years, I have been asked thousands of questions about divorce. And I have answered those questions over the years on the phone, but also by making videos about the questions as well as writing 1000’s of articles and publishing to my podcast on Divorce Master Radio.

IT was just time to put out a book. I think I offer a unique position on divorce because of how many divorce cases we handle each year. On average we handle about 30+ divorce cases for people who are trying to get through their divorce as amicable as possible and without having to spend a ton of money on divorce attorneys.

But I think there is a misunderstanding of my industry to where people think that we are unable to handle what they consider complex divorce cases. That is not the case. We handle all matters of divorce cases, the only questions becomes whether the spouses are going to play fair and try to be amicable about their divorce.

Also, I have been trying to get the word out about our industry over the years. There are just a lot of people out there that are not familiar with divorce paralegals or more specifically called Legal Document Assistants in California.

I will be writing and talking on our podcast frequently about the creation of the book. Not only to keep people informed about the progress, but to keep myself accountable for getting it done and actually put in the time and work.

So far I have come up with the working title. I have hired a graphic artist to start working on the cover of the book. I am telling everyone to expect it to be published on May 1, 2016. It seems that when I make plans to do something, that if it is too far out, I just won’t put the work in until the last minute. Forcing myself to write and publish a book in 5 weeks is really putting the pressure on.

I will keep you posted as we move through these quick 5 weeks.

Valencia Divorce : A Better Way To Serve Divorce Documents

We are all about amicable divorce cases in California. So it would make sense that we advocate better ways to do things, especially ones that save you money and help keep your case amicable.

In this article we are talking about better ways of serving your divorce papers. What we are discussing is the process of service. This is when you file your divorce case, namely the Summons and Petition) that after it has been filed, it needs to be served. Most will tell you that it HAS TO BE PERSONALLY SERVED. This is not always the case. And in fact, if you are using our company for your divorce, we will be talking about a better way to serve, which is by mail.

(By the way, we provide a full service divorce solution throughout California. If you are looking to get a divorce and would like assistance, please give us a call for a free phone consultation at 661-281-0266. We have a full service and self-help service.)

Click Here to learn more about our full service divorce
Click here to learn more about our do-it-yourself divorce

What we are referring to here is a little known form called a Notice of Acknowledgment of Receipt. It is a form that allows the spouse being served to accept being served… to acknowledge receiving a copy of the summons and petition, without the need for a 3rd party process server to chase them down and knock on their home or work door and be embarrassed.

Now you still need to have a 3rd party (friend, relative over 18 years old) be the one to mail the forms along with the acknowledgment to your spouse. The notice of acknowledgment is then filed with the court along with a proof of service that specifies how it was served.

Valencia Divorce : I Have A Divorce Attorney & Case Is Going Nowhere

I get so many calls where people have divorce attorneys in Valencia and they call me because their case is going nowhere. Their case is going nowhere and they have spent 1000’s of dollars on their divorce. In fact, I have had numerous clients who have tried to use an attorney and dropped a $5000 retainer only to have their case filed and not a whole lot else happening.

(By the way, we provide a full service divorce solution throughout California. If you are looking to get a divorce and would like assistance, please give us a call for a free phone consultation at 661-281-0266. We have a full service and self-help service.)

Click Here to learn more about our full service divorce
Click here to learn more about our do-it-yourself divorce

There is a time for attorneys and there is a time to take a step back and try to figure everything out on your own. You were married for a period of time and were able to make that work for a time, so take just a few more days, weeks or months to work through your issues regarding your divorce.

The alternative is spending money to have someone else (divorce attorney) figure out your problems for you. An attorney will never help you more than you can help yourself. All they are is a conduit (and a bad one) between you and your spouse (and their attorney)

Did you ever do an experiment in school, grade school perhaps or even college, where you lined up and the person at the beginning whispered something into the ear of the person #1 and then each person had to whisper the same phrase to the next person?

If you did, you know the experiment was to show you that what comes out the other end, was not what was said in the beginning. When I was in school the phrase that came out the end wasn’t even close to what was said initially.

Why do you think this would be any different with attorneys. You tell your attorney something. It goes through their filter (meaning they try to figure out what you want and then filter it through their life experience and brain) then they say that to the other attorney (but usually through a letter, because they can charge you more money for a letter than a phone call) then the receiving attorney gets the letter your attorney wrote and then instead of calling their client, writes, their own letter to their client (because they can charge more to write a letter than calling their client) and out comes nothing close to what you said to begin with.


Divorce can be so much easier. And I have gotten way off topic.

The topic was supposed to be that if your Valencia divorce is going nowhere and you are wondering why, give us a call. Our recommendation is to take a step back from what got you to where you are at in your divorce and see if there is any way you and your spouse can come to some type of agreement.

Perhaps you can work towards some type of cooperation where you both decide to give in a little bit and get your divorce case settled.

That is my take on things anyways.

Valencia Divorce : How Long Is This Divorce Going To Take?

Oh my god! I get this questions every day, like 5 times a day, even though I scream it on this blog, social media, my podcast and everywhere else.

That’s okay, it comes with the territory.

Here is the answer….

It is going to take way longer than you think..

Here is another podcast I have done on the subject… again.. 🙂

But here is the real deal.

The soonest your divorce in Valencia can be finalized is 6 months after the case has been filed and served. Not after it is filed, but after it is served.

Oh and another thing I hear all the time which is not correct.

People think that since they have been separated for more than 6 months already prior to filing for divorce that the six months started when they separated. This is not the case. In fact, I am going to do an entire blog post just on this wrong information.

So it is 6 months after the case has been filed and served. And by the way, the case has to be filed before it can be served. I see a lot of people thinking they can complete the divorce paperwork and serve their spouse before the case has even been filed. Oh, and people are serving their own documents. You can’t do that either.

That is for another blog post as well.

(By the way, we provide a full service divorce solution throughout California. If you are looking to get a divorce and would like assistance, please give us a call for a free phone consultation at 661-281-0266. We have a full service and self-help service.)

Click Here to learn more about our full service divorce
Click here to learn more about our do-it-yourself divorce

And here is the other thing you need to know. You don’t have to wait 6 months to turn in all your paperwork. 6 months refers to when the court will approve your judgment. This does not mean that you can’t turn your paperwork into the court prior to the six months. In fact, we turn our divorce cases as soon as 30 days after the case has been filed and served.

And guess what? We get our cases through the court in just about 3 months total, way before the 6 months. The thing is, the court will place an effective date of 6 months out from the date of service on your judgment paperwork.

Just give us a call and we’ll handle your divorce case for you.

That was easy!

Valencia Divorce & Spousal Support Calculations

When you are going through a divorce and you are going the decision of having spousal support as part of your divorce agreement, you might want to find out what the court might order so you have a starting point of what agreements you want to come up with regarding spousal support.

I will tell you this, however. If you guys are in agreement, you don’t have to use the numbers that come out of the spousal support calculation.

In my opinion, and it is just my opinion, I believe the best way to figure out what the spousal support payment amount is, is to look at your finances (both of you) to figure out what the person receiving is going to need in order to make it financially.

As part of our full service divorce solution we do offer a free dissomaster calculation as part of the service we provide.

Now, I know what you may be thinking. The person paying is thinking that they don’t want to support some lavish lifestyle. And trust me you won’t. But here is what you will each think if you don’t do it this way. The person paying is going to feel like they are paying too much and the person receiving is going to feel that they are not receiving enough.

(By the way, we provide a full service divorce solution throughout California. If you are looking to get a divorce and would like assistance, please give us a call for a free phone consultation at 661-281-0266. We have a full service and self-help service.)

Click Here to learn more about our full service divorce
Click here to learn more about our do-it-yourself divorce

The problem is that when you take 1 or 2 household incomes and then instead of having 2 household expenses instead of one, of course the money is not going to go as far. The financial situation after divorce, especially with one household income, is never going to be better than it was during the marriage. This is an unfortunate truth.

While we do offer the preparation of a dissomaster as part of our service ( a dissomaster is the calculator the courts use to calculate spousal support) we did find an online source you can use in the meantime as a guide.

I have written on this issue in the past (here is the link to the Spousal Support Calculation Article I wrote) that has the link to the website you can use for free.

Can You Live Together During The Divorce Process? Valencia Divorce

When going through a divorce in California and when you file for divorce you will be asked what your date of separation is. This confused a lot of people because many of the clients we help are still living together. So then they will either ask what date of separation to use or say that they are still living together.

The question then is, “can you live together during the divorce process?”

(By the way, we provide a full service divorce solution throughout California. If you are looking to get a divorce and would like assistance, please give us a call for a free phone consultation at 661-281-0266. We have a full service and self-help service.)

Click Here to learn more about our full service divorce
Click here to learn more about our do-it-yourself divorce

In California divorce there is no requirement that you actually live apart, separately or in separate households. When it comes to filing the divorce Petition, you will be required to decide on a date of separation even if you are till living together. So the date of separation, does not mean the date you started living separately, although it can be.

I would say many or most of our clients are still living together at the time of filing for divorce. The question about the date of separation throws them off. Here is what I tell them.

Examples dates you can use for the date of separation:

  • The date one of you moved out
  • The date you discussed getting a divorce
  • The date you file for divorce
  • These dates will be todays date or a date in the past

So the long answer to can you live together during the divorce process is Yes.  Any many do live together during the divorce process until there is that point which is a natural break.  I tell our clients that there will be a point in the process where it feels natural for the parties to physically separate.