In California, the process of ending a marriage or a domestic partnership begins when you file a petition for divorce in your local superior court. The petition, Form FL-100, is a three-page document completed by checking boxes and writing in short answers to questions.
Whether you are ending a marriage or a domestic partnership, the petition for divorce requests the same information. To prepare for completing Form FL-100, gather or have ready the following information:
- The name and contact information of you and your partner in the marriage or domestic relationship.
- Your county of residence for the last three months and your state of residence for the last six months.
- The names and ages of any minor children of the relationship, including the paternity of the children.
Your county and state of residence determine which court has jurisdiction to grant your divorce. For marriages, you must file the petition for divorce in the superior court of the county where you have lived for the last three months.
In addition to the information above, the form petition for divorce also asks the following questions:
- whether you are seeking a divorce due to irreconcilable differences or, instead, due to the permanent legal incapacity of your spouse or domestic partner to make decisions;
- whether you are seeking spousal or domestic partner support;
- whether you or your spouse or domestic partner has separate property, community property, or quasi-community property;
- whether you are ending a marriage, a domestic partnership established in California, or a domestic partnership established outside of California;
- whether you want your former name restored; and
- whether you are asking the court to order your spouse or domestic partner to pay your attorney’s fees.
You should consult with and have an attorney complete the petition for divorce. Form FL-100 may look simple enough to fill out, consisting only of boxes to check and short answers to fill in, but how it is completed impacts you divorce. Along with the petition for divorce, you must file a summons, which is Form FL-110. Yet another form is required if there are minor children. You must also pay a filing fee.
Additionally, the form does not tell whether other law may affect your particular circumstances. For example, if you or your spouse or domestic partner is in the military, your divorce may be subject to the provisions of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act as well. The filing of a petition for divorce may also affect your immigration status. There are some differences in the divorce process depending on other factors such as whether there are children of the relationship or whether the relationship is a marriage or a domestic partnership.
If you have questions about how to complete the petition for divorce, about divorce in general, or about how your circumstances may affect the divorce process, contact an experienced California divorce attorney. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger will provide authoritative legal support tailored to your specific situation. Make the call today to learn how our attorneys can help: (415) 293-8314.