Yes. Couples can get a divorce in California without hiring an attorney. The California court system provides self-help centers that assist in several legal matters, including divorce. There are some choices for those who want to do their divorce:
- Seek assistance from the local court’s self-help center.
- Work with a legal document assisting service that helps with divorce, such as Paso Roble’s We Help You Legal.
When a divorce is “uncontested,” meaning that both parties agree to all of the terms, there is rarely a need for hiring an expensive attorney. But, there are still requirements that need to be met for a DIY divorce.
According to the California Courts’ self-help website, the following are the steps for a do-it-yourself divorce in California:
- You must have lived in California for at least six months and in the county where you plan to file for at least three months.
- Fill out the forms required for divorce in California.
- File the completed forms with the court in the county where you live or where your spouse lives.
- Pay a filing fee or request a fee waiver.
- Serve your spouse with the divorce papers. The person who serves the papers must be over 18 years old and not a party to the case.
- After being served, your spouse has 30 days to file a response. If there is no response you can request a default judgment. If there is a response, depending on the response additional court documents may need to be filed.
- If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your divorce, you will need to complete additional forms.
- A court hearing is required when there are minor children. Otherwise, if you and your spouse have agreed on all the terms the divorce might be finalized without a hearing.
- Once the court has approved the divorce, the final divorce decree is issued that legally ends the marriage.
It is important to note that the above steps may not apply to everyone, and some additional steps may be required depending on the individual situation.
The court self-help centers provide a valuable service for thousands of Californians for a wide variety of matters, including divorce. However, there are times when working with the court isn’t convenient.
- The self-help centers are only open during specified hours, and those hours can vary from court to court. When free time is limited during business hours because of work obligations, the kid’s school and activities schedules, or other obligations, getting through the divorce process promptly can be challenging.
- Time limitations may create a risk of missing a court filing deadline.
- The self-help centers provide assistance for many legal matters and many other people. The staff’s time may be limited and you may not get the attention you need.
The advantages of getting assistance for a divorce from Paso Roble’s We Help You Legal include:
- Personalized attention: Legal document assisting services typically offer more personalized attention to their clients than the court self-help center, which may have limited staff and resources.
- Flexible scheduling that works with your family and work commitments, resulting in faster and more convenient service.
- Legal document assisting services are staffed by professionals who are experienced in California family law and can provide expert guidance and advice throughout the divorce process.
- Legal document assisting services can help you create customized documents that accurately reflect your unique situation and agreement with your spouse.
- One-stop-shop assisting with all aspects of divorce paperwork and filing, which can save time and reduce stress levels.
- Peace of mind knowing that documents will be completed correctly and on time.
Legal document assisting services can be a cost-effective alternative to hiring an attorney to handle your non-contested divorce, especially if you and your spouse agree to the terms of your divorce.
We Help You Legal has offices in San Luis Obispo and Paso Robles. Divorce documents are not the company’s only service. The We Help You team can assist with adoptions, name changes, legal separations, annulments, incorporation/LLCs, living trusts, estate planning and more. Serving California Central Coast communities for 22 years, the We Help You Legal staff is dedicated to serving its clients with professionalism to meet every client’s unique needs.
We Help You Legal is a “self-help” legal document assistance company that provides document preparation without the high cost of an attorney. We Help You Legal, Inc. is not a law firm. We cannot represent you in court, advise you about your legal rights or the law, or select forms for you.