You Have An Agreement With Your Ex - How To Finalize Your Divorce
If you have come to a full agreement, on all of the issues of your divorce or legal separation, you now need to prepare and submit your written Agreement to the court in the form of a Stipulated Judgment. The court will process your documents and you will receive a final judgment, once filed.
Forms and Documents to File With The CourtYou will need complete ALL of the following documents in the order that they are listed here below, as applicable to your case. Forms can be located at www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm. Check your local court's website and rules as things change frequently. IIf an instruction sheet is available for the form you are printing, you should print the instructions out and refer to them.
1. Declaration of Disclosure (FL-140)
2. Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142)
3. Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150)
4. Declaration (MC-030)
5. Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration (FL-141)
6. Stipulation and Waiver of Final Declaration of Disclosure (FL-144)
7. Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution or Legal Separation (FL-170)
8. Appearance, Stipulation, And Waivers (FL-130) [do not use this form if your divorce is by default].
9. Judgment (FL-180)
10. Child Custody and Visitation Order Attachment (FL-341)
11. Child Support Information and Order Attachment (FL-342)
12. Non-Guideline Child Support Findings Attachment (FL-32(A))
13. Spousal or Family Support Order Attachment (FL-343)
14. Notice of Rights and Responsibilities and Information Sheet On Changing a Child Support Order (FL-192)
15. Child Support Case Registry Form (FL-191)
16. Notice of Entry of Judgment (FL-190)
IMPORTANT: Both parties must serve their Final Declaration of Disclosure OR waive their right to a Final Declaration of Disclosure. To waive the Final Declaration and Disclosure (FDD), use Form FL-144. Your Judgment will not be filed by the court unless both parties have completed their FDD or both parties have signed a waiver.
What To Include In Your Agreement (called a "Stipulated Judgment") to be Filed With the CourtYour Judgment may be written using the form attachments that you have printed or by typing out all of the issues that have been agreed to on pleading paper. All of the language that is required by law must be included in your Judgment.
Make sure that your Judgment addresses each issues in your divorce:
- Name(s) and birth date(s) of the children
- Child custody schedule and parenting time
- Child support and health insurance for the children
- Spousal support
- Division of Property, insurance and debts
- Division of Retirement plans
VERY IMPORTANT: All support orders must have a date on which the payments are to begin.
1. Sign and date all documents where requested.
2. The agreement (or Stipulated Judgment) must be signed and dated by both parties. It is a good idea to have the signatures notarized.
3. If the Respondent was defaulted (the Respondent did not file a Response or an Appearance Stipulation and Waiver form), then his/her signature must by notarized.
4. Make 3 copies of everything. Keep one set for your records (just in case the court loses your papers after you file them - it can happen!)
5. Include 2 large, stamped envelopes - 1 addressed to you and 1 to your ex (to the same address you included at the end of the Notice of Entry form.) Each envelope must have enough postage for one set of the forms and judgment package to be mailed because the court will mail one set to each party after judgment is entered.
6. Submit the set of original documents and two sets copies of all the documents to the Family Law Clerk's Office. The documents will be accepted by the clerk for processing, but they will not be filed on the same day. Judgments are processed in order. When you drop your documents off, ask the clerk for an estimate of when the judgment will be filed so you have an idea how long you will be waiting (can be 30 to 90 days.)
7. Once these papers have been filed (stamped by the court as filed) your dissolution is complete. The date your dissolution or domestic partnership ends will be placed on the Judgment form by the clerk and the documents will be mailed one set to you and one set to your ex in the stamped, addressed envelopes that you provided to the Clerk.
8. If you wish to get a certified copy of your Judgment, request one for a fee at the Family Law Clerks' Office.