Documents You Will Need Before Filing for Divorce in California

Posted By Law Offices of Frank F. Ali || 1-Sep-2016

Preparation is key to making any process, project, or challenge in your life easier and conclude sooner than later. This is also true for when you are going through a divorce. Jumping right in without knowing what to expect, or really what you want out of it, can get you tied up in an impersonal legal system and add extra court dates to your calendar. Planning ahead and preparing the paperwork you are going to need will save you unnecessary headaches and help you avoid speedbumps.

If you are filing for divorce in California, the forms you should gather first are:

  • Divorce petition: You won't get far with the divorce court system if you don't follow their instructions and use their specific and approved divorce petition forms. Download and print out a form straight from the California Court's website (by clicking here) and fill it out carefully with your attorney. In your petition, you need to say why you want to get a divorce – you can get detailed or stay vague by saying experienced "irreconcilable differences" – and what you want out of it in terms of child custody, child support, property division, spousal support, and so on. Make your intentions and wishes clear to prevent an added conference room meeting just to interpret what you wrote down.
  • Financial information: As part of a divorce, you need to disclose your personal finances to the court and your future ex-spouse since it needs to be known if alimony and child support are to be fairly calculated. Revealing your financial figures accurately and immediately shows your good faith and can steer your divorce away from conflict. One of the top reasons an uncontested divorce derails into a contested one is hidden or undisclosed finances. Trust your lawyer when they say you cannot hide anything from the court; if money exists somewhere, it will come to light sooner or later.
  • Additional evidence: If there is a specific reason you want to file for divorce, state it in your petition and back it up with proof in case it has to become evidence in court down the road. Do you have email transcripts of your spouse talking with another romantic partner? Have you collected receipts of intentional and wasteful overspending on behalf of your spouse? Whatever you can use to prove that they damaged your marriage's integrity or stability, the better. California may be a community property state when it comes to property division but evidence of wrongdoing can sway the judge to act in your favor when it comes to child support or split decisions.

For help gathering everything you will need before filing for divorce, contact the Law Offices of Frank F. Ali and our Roseville divorce lawyer. We can provide you with the compassionate yet direct legal support you need. Call 916.745.8444 to schedule a free consultation today.

Categories: Divorce, Family Law
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