Helping Families for 25+ Years

California Uncontested Divorce

There are two types of divorce in California: contested and uncontested divorce. Essentially, a divorce is considered contested if the spouses do not agree on one or more divorce-related issues (e.g., child custody, child support, alimony, property division, etc.), while an uncontested divorce occurs when the couple agrees to all aspects of the divorce.

An uncontested divorce does not involve court litigation, which is why it is a much cheaper and faster process compared to a contested divorce. One spouse files for a divorce based on a no-fault ground (e.g., irreconcilable differences), while the other agrees.

You can generally file for an uncontested divorce in California if you meet all the following requirements:

  • One spouse must be a California resident for at least six months prior to filing for a divorce

  • Both spouses are available and willing to sign all the required paperwork

  • Both spouses agree on all issues of the divorce settlement

One of the most important steps of the uncontested divorce process is creating a “written divorce agreement,” which is commonly called a “stipulated judgment.” The agreement must state that you both wish to end the marriage and detail any information about all divorce-related issues.

Once you and your spouse complete the agreement, you must have the document notarized. Since this agreement is a legally binding contract, you must understand with what it contains.

After you complete your written agreement, you or your spouse must file a petition for divorce and pay the proper filing fees. The petition must also contain basic information about both parties, including the children you share, as well as your assets and debts.

Once the petition is submitted to the court, you must serve your spouse—through a third party—with copies of the divorce papers. Once you or your spouse responds to the petition, either party must turn in final forms to the court to request a divorce judgment.

If your paperwork is properly completed, you will have to wait six months after filing before a judge will sign your divorce agreement. The process will be delayed if your paperwork is not in order.

On the other hand, if you or your spouse fails to respond to the petition within 30 days, the petitioner can request a “dissolution by default.” Because you and your spouse have already agreed to all divorce-related issues, the judge will ratify your agreement and wait six months until he/she issues a divorce order.

If you are interested in filing for an uncontested divorce in in in the Placer County, Sacramento County, and El Dorado County, contact our Granite Bay legal team at Myers Family Law today at (916) 634-0067 and schedule a consultation!