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Complete Your Own Divorce

Start the Free, Step-By-Step Informational Series That Will Walk You Through Every Form Required to Complete Your Own Divorce in California.

 

Get Started with Your Personalized DIY Divorce Path

Answer a couple questions to start learning about the forms you’ll need to complete your own divorce in California and skip the ones that aren’t relevant to your specific situation.

Are You Initiating (Filing First) For Divorce?

Do you have minor children (under 18)?

Do you have minor children (under 18)?

Want to learn more before beginning? Watch the introduction video or read more about each filing status.

Hi. I’m Cristin Lowe, a certified family law attorney, and welcome to our video series on how to begin your divorce in California. We are going to take you through all of the mandatory court forms required in California.

This series applies whether you are the petitioner, meaning the person filing for the divorce, or the respondent, meaning the person responding to the divorce. Altogether, we’ve created four ‘paths’ that are unique to your current situation.

You can be the petitioner with minor children of the marriage (or of the relationship), or you can be the petitioner and you don’t have children. The third and fourth scenario are that you’re the respondent, and you have minor children of the marriage, or you’re the respondent without minor children of the marriage. And each one of these scenarios are going to basically put you in a category of which forms you are required to fill out.

Below, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list and more explanation on which category you might fit into–a checklist if you will.

A little bit about me:

I’m a divorce attorney. But what you don’t know is that I grew up in a family of doctors, (a long story on how I became an attorney) and I was raised with this value of helping people.

Something my mother and father really drilled into me as a child:

It doesn’t really matter what you do, you can choose to enter into the family profession of being a doctor (or not), but whatever you do, you need to help people. I really took that to heart and tried to figure out what I wanted to do with my career. My passion happened to be law and helping people with their family law matters.

Since I can’t represent everybody in California I created this video series as a way to reach a greater portion of the population. You might be watching this video in Los Angeles whereas I’m here in the San Francisco Bay Area.

These forms, they matter to you. They are important for you to get through your divorce, and this is my way of being able to help you in kind of a limited way. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me through this website, cristinlowelaw.com. The phone number here is 925-215-1388, and my email address is [email protected]. I hope you find the video series helpful and best of luck to you.

Getting Started

Depending on the circumstances of your divorce, you’ll fall into 1 of 4 filing statuses. These statuses are outlined here to help you understand which path to take in the Do-It-Yourself Divorce Series. When you know where to begin, you’ll start on a path that details the specifics of every form you will need to file. We’ll help you save time, avoid common mistakes, and provide expert tips to help you complete each form with confidence.

Petitioner with Minor Children

You are the Petitioner with Children if you are beginning the divorce process before your spouse and you have minor children living at home.

You will need to complete the following forms:

  1. Petition (FL-100). This form is a request for a divorce. It’s extremely important because it outlines what the major issues are and what orders you are asking for with your divorce.
  2. Summons (FL-110). This provides notice to the other party that you are requesting a divorce. It advises the person that he or she must respond to your request for a divorce within 30 days and places certain restrictions on both you and the other side.
  3. Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (FL-105). This establishes your child(ren)’s residency for the past five years.
  4. Proof of Service of Summons (FL-115). This is filled after filing for divorce and the other side has been personally served the documents by any adult other than you.
  5. Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt (FL-117). If your spouse is cooperating with the divorce process, you can also ask him or her to sign FL-117 which meets the service requirements.
  6. Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150). This form must be filed with the Court and is a listing of all of your earnings and average monthly expenses.
  7. Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142). This lists everything you own and everything you owe.
  8. Declaration of Disclosure (FL-140). By signing this form, you declare that you have completed a full financial disclosure.
  9. Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration (FL-141). This document, which is filed with the Court, means that you have provided that full financial disclosure to the Court.

Begin the Petitioner with Children path.

Petitioner without Minor Children

You are the Petitioner without Children if you are beginning the divorce process before your spouse and you do not have minor children living at home.

You will need to complete the following forms:

  1. Petition (FL-100). This form is a request for a divorce. It’s extremely important because it outlines what the major issues are and what orders you are asking for with your divorce.
  2. Summons (FL-110). This provides notice to the other party that you are requesting a divorce. It advises the person that he or she must respond to your request for a divorce within 30 days and places certain restrictions on both you and the other side.
  3. Proof of Service of Summons (FL-115). This is filled after filing for divorce and the other side has been personally served the documents by any adult other than you.
  4. Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt (FL-117). If your spouse is cooperating with the divorce process, you can also ask him or her to sign FL-117 which meets the service requirements.
  5. Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150). This form must be filed with the Court and is a listing of all of your earnings and average monthly expenses.
  6. Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142). This lists everything you own and everything you owe.
  7. Declaration of Disclosure (FL-140). By signing this form, you declare that you have completed a full financial disclosure.
  8. Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration (FL-141). This document, which is filed with the Court, means that you have provided that full financial disclosure to the Court.

Begin the Petitioner without Children path.

Respondent with Minor Children

You are the Respondent with Children if you are replying to the divorce process your spouse began and you have minor children living at home.

You will need to complete the following forms:

  1. Response (FL-120). This allows to the Court to see your side of the story.
  2. Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (FL-105). This establishes your child(ren)’s residency for the past five years.
  3. Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150). This form must be filed with the Court and is a listing of all of your earnings and average monthly expenses.
  4. Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142). This lists everything you own and everything you owe.
  5. Declaration of Disclosure (FL-140). By signing this form, you declare that you have completed a full financial disclosure.
  6. Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration (FL-141). This document, which is filed with the Court, means that you have provided that full financial disclosure to the Court.

Begin the Respondent with Children path.

Respondent without Minor Children

You are the Respondent without Children if you are replying to the divorce process your spouse began and you do not have minor children living at home.

You will need to complete the following forms:

  1. Response (FL-120). This allows to the Court to see your side of the story.
  2. Income and Expense Declaration (FL-150). This form must be filed with the Court and is a listing of all of your earnings and average monthly expenses.
  3. Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142). This lists everything you own and everything you owe.
  4. Declaration of Disclosure (FL-140). By signing this form, you declare that you have completed a full financial disclosure.
  5. Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration (FL-141). This document, which is filed with the Court, means that you have provided that full financial disclosure to the Court.

Begin the Respondent without Children path.

Download Fillable PDF Forms

Get Started with Your Personalized DIY Divorce Path

Answer a couple questions to start learning about the forms you’ll need to complete your own divorce in California and skip the ones that aren’t relevant to your specific situation.

Are You Initiating (Filing First) For Divorce?

Do you have minor children (under 18)?

Do you have minor children (under 18)?

Want to learn more before beginning? Watch the introduction video or read more about each filing status.

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