The marriage papers may never have been filed, but if there is community property, children or community debt unless you file the court can do nothing.
My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.
Yes, you should still file for the dissolution. You do not necessarily need to file it in L.A. County. The proper venue in which to file is in the county you have resided in for at least the last three months. I realize that there may not be an actual certificate on file, but getting the court to dissolve your marriage is necessary to safeguard yours (and your spouses ) rights visa vie your creditors, insurers, heirs, etc..