Filing for divorce is a decision not to be taken lightly. It requires careful consideration and an understanding of what the future holds. Our team at Divorce Better has significant experience in the filing process, and in this latest post, we’ll highlight our guide on how to file for divorce in Sonoma County.
Step 1: Choose your style of divorce
The first step in the filing process is to choose the type of divorce you would like to achieve. If you and your spouse can come to an agreement on the major elements involved, you may file for an uncontested divorce, which allows you to move forward without going to court.
Step 2: Consider all divorce elements
When managing the divorce process, you must consider all elements involved, particularly your children, assets and debts. If you decide to move forward with a divorce, consider doing so amicably using an uncontested process. The goal is to discuss the needs of your children, you and your spouse to reach agreements. At Divorce Better, we help couples reach agreements through mediation.
Step 3: Fill out the relevant forms
There are three specific forms that must be completed if you are to file for divorce in Sonoma County. These forms include:
· Form FL-100: Petition Marriage
Use this form to provide the court with information on your marriage. Specifically, residency, your date of marriage, date of separation, names of minor children, child custody, child support, spousal support, assets and debts. Although this form is just 3 pages in length, it is very important to complete it accurately. At Divorce Better, we can help you complete this form and all other court paperwork.
· Form FL-110: Summons
This form is a notice to the Respondent that their spouse (Petitioner) has filed for divorce. On the back of the form is language restraining Petitioner and Respondent from making any changes regarding children and property.
Form FL-105: Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
This form is required by the Court when you and your spouse have minor children together.
Step 4: Serve the papers
Once the forms have been completed and filed with the Court, a copy of the Summons, Petition, and FL-105 (if you have minor children) must be personally served on your spouse. The person providing service will complete FL-115. You must file this document with the Court. This is called your, “Proof of Service.” Without it, the Court has no proof your spouse was served and given notice of the case.
Step 5: Wait for your former spouse to respond
You now wait 30 days to see if your spouse responds to the filing of the papers. In an amicable, uncontested, default divorce, often no response is filed. The divorce proceeds by the agreements you and your spouse craft together.
Our team at Divorce Better is here to guide you through the divorce process while maintaining communication links with your spouse. To discover more about our work and on how to file for divorce in Sonoma County, call our offices today for a consultation.