For some, filing for divorce is a painful process. The emotions of severing ties with your spouse can be strong, after all, no matter how correct the decision is.
For others, it brings forth a sigh of relief. From cases of domestic abuse to unacceptable misparenting, extreme situations call for extreme solutions. But the divorce process can still pose considerable stress.
If you’re feeling weighed down by the emotions of your divorce, or feeling anxiety towards diving into the divorce process, we feel your pain. Still, you have to start somewhere. Learn the process for filing for divorce in Orange County – and if your divorce is uncontested, consider mediating your marital conflicts with The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens.
The Residency Requirement
Your first step when filing for divorce in Orange County is to determine whether you meet the residency requirement. You must’ve lived in California for the past six months prior to filing the divorce paperwork, and in Orange County for the previous three months if you file at the Orange County Superior Court.
Next, you’ll have to tackle a pile of paperwork to file with the court. Here are the necessary forms to file a new divorce in OC:
- Petition: FL-100
- Summons: FL-110
- Family Law Declaration Re: Related Cases: L1120
- Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act: FL-105
Once you’ve completed these forms, you’ll be ready to file with the OC divorce court.
Filing for divorce in Orange County requires the original documents, plus two copies to be filed with the family law clerk at the Lamoreaux Justice Center. You’ll also have to pay a filing fee of $435. Upon payment, the clerk will take your original filings and give you a copy of the processed documents to keep, known as a “certified copy.” We recommend that you keep one of these copies for your records, and serve your spouse with the other.
The certified copy must be delivered to your spouse in-person, but not personally. In other words, you can’t be the one to serve divorce papers to your partner. The deliverer can be anyone from a family member or friend to a coworker, as long as they’re 18 years or older. Whoever delivers the papers needs to take note of the date and time of the serving, as well as the address where they delivered the documents. This is so that an accurate proof of service of summons can be filed with the Orange County divorce court.
Once you’ve served your spouse, they have 30 days to file a response with the court. If 30 days have passed and they’ve provided no response, you have the green light to seek out a default judgment.
The following result depends on whether the case is contested or uncontested; in an uncontested case, spouses often opt for mediation. But if your spouse contests the divorce, you’ll likely have to hire a trusted divorce attorney and prepare for litigation. At The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we can lend a hand down either path.
Mediate or Litigate with an Orange County Divorce Attorney
Divorce is an emotional journey to endure. On top of the bitterness and anger which often result from a formal separation, the subsequent legal battles tend to make the whole process even more painful. At the Law Offices of Jennifer Owens, we revel in the power of choice. When spouses face divorce, they’re presented with a slew of decisions with a handful of potential outcomes. Our attorneys are believers in the best possible outcome, where a former couple chooses peace over destruction so that they can finally move on to their next chapter. We can help with that. No matter your desired path – divorce mediation, a negotiated settlement, or even litigation – The Law Offices of Jennifer Owens will achieve the best possible outcome by reaching a settlement that keeps all involved parties in mind. Visit our website to review our family law services or contact us online for a free consultation.