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How to File for Divorce in California


Figuring​ ​out​ ​how​ ​file​ ​for​ ​divorce in California​ ​can​ ​be​ ​confusing​ ​and overwhelming​ ​during​ ​an already​ ​difficult​ ​time​ ​for​ ​you​ ​and​ ​your​ ​family.​ ​With an office in San Rafael, CA, attorney Kate Rockas​ ​has​ ​over​ ​30​ ​years​ ​of​ ​experience​ ​helping​ ​her​ ​clients​ ​through their​ ​divorces​. As a certified family law specialist, Ms. Rockas has more experience and training in divorce law than most lawyers in the state. Furthermore, she will consider every aspect of your case, including child custody, spousal support, and debt responsibility. With her compassionate understanding and attention to detail, she can create​ ​the​ ​smoothest​ ​process​ ​possible​ ​and​ ​can​ ​protect the​ ​interests​ ​of​ ​your​ ​family.

A wedding ring and a pen on top of divorce papers
Because Ms. Rockas understands the process of how to file for divorce in California, she can ease the burden for your family. 

A Step-by-Step Guide to Filing for Divorce

Although every divorce case is different, there is a set legal protocol in place. You can rest assured that Ms. Rockas and her team will help you through all these steps, handling as much of the details and paperwork as possible.

  • Prepare to file for divorce. After making the painful decision to divorce, you should take precautions to protect yourself, your property, and your children. Make copies of all important documents, including tax returns, bank statements, insurance policies, and similar materials. Be sure to make three copies—one for yourself and two for your legal records.
  • Serve the divorce papers. Once you have filed the paperwork, you need to present your spouse the Petition, Summons, and, if you have children, the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) documents. 
  • Respond to the divorce. After you have been served with paperwork, you have 30 days to make your response. In your official document, you will state whether you agree or disagree with the claims made in the petition. If you have minor children, you will also need to fill out the Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Enforcement Act papers.
  • Request temporary orders. This step is not necessary in all cases. However, in some instances, you may want to ask for temporary court orders, especially related to child custody or financial support.
  • Make financial disclosures. For a fair financial settlement, it is important to fill out the appropriate paperwork, listing all shared assets, debt, expenses, and income.
  • Begin the process of discovery. Discovery helps you to obtain all pertinent information about your spouse. This step includes interrogatories, or a series of questions that your spouse must answer truthfully under penalty of perjury. This process is optional but can ensure a more equitable outcome.

Once you have taken these steps, you can begin the process of settlement. If you cannot reach a mutually agreed upon compromise outside of court, your case will go to trial.

Ms. Rockas and her team will help you through the steps of filing for divorce, handling as much of the details and paperwork as possible.

Filing for Divorce in California

Like every other state, California adheres to no-fault divorce laws. This means that one party can file for divorce simply because of “irreconcilable differences.” Furthermore, a spouse’s wrongdoing cannot affect the divorce decree, except in limited circumstances. For example, if one party was guilty of domestic violence, this would impact to whom the court awards child custody.

Length of residency is an important consideration when it comes to California divorce law. To obtain a divorce, you must have lived in the state for at least six months. Further, you must have lived in the county where you plan to file for at least three months. However, there is no residency requirement for legal separation. You can later change this status to a divorce, if desired.

Why Choose Kate Rockas for Your Legal Counsel?

As you can see, filing for divorce can be quite complex and requires and incredibly detailed legal knowledge. Ms. Rockas has decades of experience with divorce cases, and she offers a full scope of family law services. She has been certified as a family law specialist since 1999, making her one of a select group of California attorneys with these credentials. Most importantly, she is committed to her clients’ well-being. She understands that getting a divorce is an incredibly stressful time. With her calm and rational demeanor, she can help you make the best decisions for your family, settling out of court whenever possible.

Contact Our Firm for a Consultation

To learn more about filing for a divorce or to begin the process for yourself, contact our firm online today. You can also call (415) 306-5560 to speak to a member of our team.

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I consider Kate to be an outstanding Family Law attorney. She is one of only two Family Law attorneys in Marin County to whom I refer clients.

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San Rafael Office

999 Fifth Ave
Ste 230
San Rafael, CA 94901

Open Today 9:00am - 6:00pm

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