Divorce Basics in California
Learn the first steps in filing for divorce.
What are the first steps in filing?The divorce process is initiated by filing a Summons and Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage with the Family Court. If you have children under 18, a Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act must also be filed. Local courts may also have their own required forms as well. Orange County requires the filing of a Family Law Notice Regarding Related Cases. The filing fee in Orange County is $435.
Once filed, the papers must be served on your spouse. Your divorce case then begins.
What are the residency requirements that have to be met in order to file?In order to file for divorce, you must first meet California state and local residency requirements. You must have lived in California for at least 6 months and also lived in the county where you plan to file for at least 3 months.