Filing For Divorce in Los Angeles? Here's What You Need To Know.

Updated: Apr 22

Tips And Caveats Of Divorce Claims In California


Since California is a "no-fault" divorce state, your choice of Divorce Lawyer can mean the difference between having what you want and being disappointed. Since the dissolution of a marriage is such a serious matter, it is in your best interests to hire a Divorce Lawyer to ensure that you leave the marriage with everything you are entitled to.


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Residents of California who are unable to reach an agreement on the terms and conditions of their divorce in an uncontested divorce will need the assistance of a Los Angeles Family Law Attorney to work through the details of their cumulative years in order to represent our clients' best interests. This is a difficult time for you, and because of your emotional condition, the particulars of your divorce should not be ignored.


Divorce in California


Divorce, civil separation, and annulment are the three primary ways to terminate a marriage or registered domestic partnership in California. To end a marriage, all spouses or domestic partners do not have to consent. Any spouse or partner may want to end the marriage, and the other spouse/partner cannot stop the process by refusing to engage in the event, even though he or she does not want a divorce. If one spouse or domestic partner refuses to engage in the divorce proceedings, the other spouse/partner will obtain a "default" judgment, and the divorce can proceed.

California is a "no-fault" divorce jurisdiction, which means the spouse or domestic partner seeking the divorce does not have to show that the other spouse or domestic partner did anything wrong. One spouse or domestic partner must claim that the pair cannot get along in order to obtain a no-fault divorce. This is referred to as "irreconcilable discrepancies" in legal terms.

You must prepare ahead of time after deciding how you want to end your marriage or domestic relationship. Consider how you'll approach the situation. Planning ahead of time and speaking with a Divorce Lawyer will help you save time and money as you navigate the court system. Also, bear in mind that it usually doesn't matter who files the divorce or separation case first. The court gives no advantage to the first person to file or disadvantage to the first person to respond to the case.

  • Domestic partners must apply for the breakup (divorce), legal separation, or annulment to end their relationship if they wish to end their registered domestic partnership. Domestic partners with no children, no real property, few assets or debts, and a written agreement on dividing their property, among other limitations, will end their partnership in a summary process through the Secretary of State if they have been registered for less than five years and have no children, no real property, very few assets or debts, and a written agreement on dividing their property.

  • Domestic partnerships are not recognized under federal law for certain reasons, including Medicare, immigration, veterans' compensation, and federal tax laws. Domestic partners may be honored by the federal government for such reasons, including Social Security. Domestic partners do not have the same rights outside of California since some states do not recognize domestic partnerships. If you're leaving a domestic relationship and some of these problems relate to you, consult a Divorce Lawyer. You may also want to speak with an accountant who is familiar with these issues.


Divorce is a legal process that involves the filing of a divorce petition

  1. Complete the court paperwork. You must fill out the same paperwork to apply for divorce or legal separation. Speak with a Divorce Lawyer if you need detailed legal advice about how to fill out your court forms. What you write on your court papers will make a big difference in the result of your case. It is important to be precise and thorough, and a Divorce Lawyer will assist you in determining how to fill out the forms in such a way that they correctly represent your situation. This is particularly relevant if you believe you and your spouse or domestic partner would disagree about the issues addressed in the court forms.

  2. Submit the First Set of Court Documents. Your spouse or domestic partner must be informed that you have begun the legal process for a divorce, legal separation, or annulment, according to the statute. To do so, you must "serve" copies of all your court papers on your spouse or domestic partner. Unless your spouse or domestic partner has been adequately "served," the judge cannot make any orders or rulings in your divorce or legal separation case.

Consider one of our prescreened California Lawyers in your California Attorney Search.


There are two ways to serve the papers:

  • Personal service - This means that your "server" hands your spouse or domestic partner a copy of all the papers (along with the blank forms). In the majority of cases, you will have to personally serve your divorce or legal separation documents.

  • Service by mail with a Notice and Acknowledgement of Receipt - Whether you and your spouse or domestic partner are cooperating on your family law case and agree to allow service by mail, this may be a simple and cost-effective method of serving the documents.