What Documents and Supporting Information Must Be Submitted With a Divorce Petition in California?

The documents and forms which must be filed to petition for divorce in California depend on the type of divorce being sought.

For a summary divorce between spouses who have been married for less than five years and do not have children or substantial debt or property, the party requesting the divorce must file a Joint Petition for Summary Dissolution of Marriage (FL-800), a Request for Judgment, Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage, and Notice of Entry of Judgment (FL-820), and Notice of Revocation of Petition for Summary Dissolution (FL-830). More or less forms may be required in your particular case.

For an uncontested divorce, where the spouses do not qualify for a summary divorce but agree on how to distribute their property and debts, the party filing for divorce must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (FL-100) and a summons (FL-100) to notify the other souse that a divorce case has been filed.

A contested (or “regular”) divorce, where the parties do not agree on one or more marital issues, requires a filing of Petition for Dissolution of Marriage (FL-100) and a variety of other supporting documents, such as a Schedule of Assets and Debts (FL-142), and a Property Declaration (FL-160). Again, based on the facts and circumstances of your particular marriage and divorce, more forms may be required.

The courts also provide worksheets the spouses can use to tally their debts, assets, and other property they own.

If there are children from the marriage, the filing party must also submit a Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) in accordance with California Family Code sections 3400-3412. This form tells the judge which spouse the children have been living with and if any other custody orders exist that involve the case.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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