In order to file for divorce in the great state of California, you have to have lived in California for the last six (6) months. In order to file for divorce in the city of Marina del Rey, or any of the greater Los Angeles area, you have to have lived in Los Angeles County for the last three (3) months. Do you meet these requirements? Call me at (424) 259-1770 to find out if you meet the requirements to file for divorce in Los Angeles County and what your options are if you do not meet the requirements.
Next, you need to determine if you would like to file for divorce, legal separation, or annulment. Don’t know what the difference is? Read about the difference between divorce, legal separation, and annulment on my blog here.
Assuming you would like to file for divorce you will need to obtain the proper forms for filing. You can obtain the divorce forms from your local courthouse or you can find the forms on my resources page under the “Forms” section here. If you decide to hire an attorney, your attorney should provide you these forms.
Fill out the following forms:
- Petition- Marriage/Domestic Partnership (Form FL-100). This form allows you to give the court basic information about your marriage and/or domestic partnership. You request the court make certain orders, but this is more of a “wish list” of the orders you may be requesting later in the case. For example, if you check the box that requests spousal support, you still need to file a Request for Order for Spousal Support if you would like the court to hear that issue and grant you spousal support. Checking the box on the petition, does not automatically entitle you to spousal support.
- Summons- Family Law (Form FL-110). This form contains information about the divorce process. It also contains automatic temporary restraining orders that restricts what parties can do with their property, money, auto insurance, health insurance, other assets and debts, and also restricts removing the minor children from the state.
If you have minor children (children under the age of 18), you will also need to fill out the following:
- Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (Form FL-105). This form tells the court where the child or children reside and where they have resided in the past. The court uses this form to determine if the state and county of Los Angeles have jurisdiction to make custody orders.
Fill out any local forms, if they are required. Some courts require that their local forms be completed and filed with your Petition and Summons. Contact your attorney or self-help center to find out if you need to fill out any local forms. In Los Angeles county, you will also need a Family law Case Cover Sheet (Form FAM-020).
You should make sure your forms are reviewed by someone who is familiar with these forms, ideally an attorney that specializes in family law. If you cannot afford an attorney or just wish to complete your divorce without an attorney, there are self-help centers at most courthouses that can assist you.
Once your forms are complete you will need to file them with your local courthouse. In Los Angeles County, you can either file at your local courthouse or at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Downtown Los Angeles. If you are unclear what your local courthouse is, contact an attorney or a self-help center and they can assist you. Bring at least two copies of all the forms to the filing window. The court will keep the original and return the conformed copies to you.
Once your Petition for Divorce has been filed, it needs to be served on the other party. You cannot serve the Petition yourself, it has to be a non-party over the age of 18.
If you have any questions or want to learn more about filing for divorce in Marina del Rey or in the surrounding areas of Los Angeles please contact Lovette T. Mioni at Mioni Family Law today at (424) 259-1770.
Mioni Family Law serves clients in Playa Vista, Marina del Rey, Playa del Rey, Venice, Culver City, Santa Monica, Torrance and throughout Los Angeles County. Call today to schedule a consultation (424) 259-1770.