Santa Clarita Divorce : Common Mistakes When Filing Your Santa Clarita Divorce
I see several issues that continue to come up with people trying to file their own Santa Clarita Divorce. (Video at bottom)
Common Mistakes When Filing Your Santa Clarita Divorce
1. Names Must Match On Summons & Petition – Using a different version of your name on the Divorce Summons & Petition. The names your use on your summons must match that on the petition. So, for instance. If you use Tim Blankenship on the Summons, use Tim Blankenship on the Petition.
What we see people doing, who are trying to do their own Santa Clarita Divorce is use different variants of their name throughout their divorce paperwork. Here is an example. They start with Tim Blankenship and then in some places write, Tim S. Blankenship and in others Timothy Blankenship. This usually happens when people are filling out the divorce paperwork by hand or typing it into fillable forms.
2. Not Using A Date Of Separation – Another issues I see is that people doing their own Santa Clarita Divorce is putting down a date of marriage, but not putting down the date of separation. This is cause for your divorce case to be rejected.
You need to have a date of separation on your divorce petition. “But Tim, we are still living together and not legally separated!” Doesn’t matter, you need to have a date of separation. In fact, most of my clients are still living together at the time of filing for divorce and there is no requirement that you actually be separated prior to filing for divorce as it is in some states.
Here are some examples of what you can use as the date of separation for your Santa Clarita Divorce. (And yes, you can use a date in the past). You can use the day you discussed with your spouse that you wanted a divorce. You can use a day that you started sleeping on the couch. You can use a date of incident such as when your spouse perhaps did something that caused you wanting a divorce. If nothing else makes sense, then we just use the date of the filing of your divorce as your date of separation.
3. Requesting Your Name Changed On The Divorce Petition – Okay, I get asked all the time, “can i choose a name” where is asks if you want to restore your former name. The answer is no. As part of the divorce, you can only revert back to your former, maiden name.
The reason is that if you just choose any old name, and when you go to say Social Security or the DMV, they are going to check that it is, in fact, your former maiden name. The only way to choose a name of your choice is to file a legal name change with the court.
4. Using An Address For You Minor Children Outside of California – This does not happen too often, but often enough to address it. If you have children, you need to also file a form called a UCCJEA which is form FL-105. The courts want to know where your children have lived for the last 5 years. You children have to be living in California in order for the state to have jurisdiction to make orders for child custody.
If you state that your children are living out of state, you will not be able to have custody orders in California. If you find yourself in this situation, even if you list your children on the divorce petition and then try to turn in your divorce judgment to the court, they will reject your judgment and tell you that the court does not have the jurisdiction to make orders for child custody and that you need to remove the custody portion from your judgment. This is a problem if you need custody orders as part of your Santa Clarita Divorce.
If you need assistance with your Santa Clarita divorce make sure to give us a call. We have local offices right here in Santa Clarita and can assist you with finalizing your divorce.