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How to Respond to a California Divorce Petition

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How to Respond to a California Divorce Petition

If you have been served with a Summons and Petition to dissolve your marriage in California, you will be deemed the respondent in the court case for divorce. Form FL-100 specifies what your spouse, the petitioner, seeks for the division of marital property, child support, and spousal support. You can respond to a California divorce Petition as follows:

1. Do Nothing
You do not legally have to provide an answer to your spouse’s divorce Petition. However, if you fail to file a Response, whatever your spouse asks for will likely be granted. This means that the judge will base his decision about child support, visitation, or child custody on the information your spouse provides. The judge will also make decisions about the division of property and debt. These decisions will be made without any comments from your side.

2. Request A Default Judgment By Agreement – See our Other Legal Services below.
The petitioner can request a default judgment by agreement to be entered if you and your spouse have reached an agreement regarding the division of the marital estate, child custody and visitation, and spousal support. The agreement must be notarized.

3. File A Response to Divorce Petition
You can file a Response to the divorce petition and, if necessary, disagree with anything or everything your spouse requested in the Petition. Once a Response is filed, the court considers the divorce proceedings “contested.” Unless the parties later agree between themselves to settle all contested issues, the court will make the final decision in determining the division of the marital estate, child custody and visitation, and child support, if an agreement is not reached.

California Divorce Response 30 Day Deadline

If you decide to file a Response, California law provides you 30 days from the date you were served with the Summons and Petition to do so. If you fail to file a Response by the specified deadline, and fail to request an extension, a default judgment can be entered against you. Note, a Response will be considered incomplete if it does not meet all applicable legal requirements of California law.

Alternatives to Filing a Response to a Divorce
(Marital Settlement Agreement)

As mentioned above, an alternative to filing a Response to a divorce would be to do nothing and let the matter proceed unilaterally by the petitioner. This may be a perfectly reasonable option for short term marriages (one year or less) where there all are no children, property, debts or other matters to be resolved. Another option would be for the petitioner and the respondent to sign a marital settlement agreement. Both options provide a path for the divorce case to be completed without the respondent having to file a formal Response. In both of these situations, the case would continue by “default.”

Not every divorce case requires the respondent to file a formal Response to a divorce Petition. In fact, most of the divorce cases we handle are completed by default with a marital settlement agreement. This process, in effect, allows both parties to take part in the divorce and agreement process, but avoids the unnecessary and extra expense of a first appearance court filing fee having to be paid by the respondent. If both parties agree, there is absolutely no reason for the respondent to file a formal Response to the divorce Petition and incur these extra costs.

In some cases, however,  it is wise for the respondent to file a formal Response even if they ultimately believe they will be able to reach an agreement with the petitioner. Sometimes a petitioner drags their feet and does not cooperate with attempts to reach a marital settlement agreement. In this case, a Response can be filed to prevent the petitioner from taking the respondent’s default and proceeding unilaterally. Making an appearance with the court by filing a formal Response to the Petition will keep respondent’s options open. It will also prevent an unexpected “surprise” default down the road should petitioner decide not to cooperate with resolving the issues.

A Request to Enter Default is the formal document entered by the court clerk which states the respondent failed to file a formal Response with the court. Once a default is entered, the case is allowed to proceed unilaterally by the petitioner. The petitioner can take the default of the respondent any time on or after the 31st day after service of the petition.

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How to Serve Divorce Papers in California

How to Serve Divorce Papers in California

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Serving Clients California Statewide
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In Acton California, after you file a Petition (form FL-100) for divorce, you provide your spouse a copy of the Petition and a Summons to appear in court.

The Summons (form FL-110) notifies your spouse that you have filed for divorce, and provides 30 calendar days for your spouse to respond. The process of service requires a third-party – not a party to the divorce – to deliver the Summons and Petition to your spouse.
California Courts require you to file a Proof of Service of Summons (form FL-115) with the court clerk’s office, in order for the divorce to proceed.

Step 1 in Acton

Prepare a copy of all divorce documents filed with the court in Acton to serve with the summons.
Include Petition (form FL-100), Summons (form FL-110) and a blank Response (form FL-120).
If the dissolution of marriage involves children under 18 years of age, also attach a Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (form FL-105).
Provide a copy of any Child Custody and Visitation Application Attachment (form FL-311) filed with the court in Acton.

Step 2 in Acton

Choose a person or ServeProNow.com to deliver the Summons to your spouse, with a copy of the Petition. In California, a person 18 or over qualifies to serve the summons. Ask a friend or relative to serve your spouse the court documents. Or alternatively, hire a county sheriff or professional process server. Do not ask adult children of the marriage to serve the other spouse. Also keep in mind that you cannot, under any circumstance, serve the papers yourself.

Step 3 in Acton

Select a method by which to serve the Summons and Petition.
The process to serve the court papers on the other party is called “service of process.” California courts accept personal service and service by mail with a Notice of Acknowledgment and Receipt (Form FL-117). Personal service means that your “server” hand-delivers the Summons and Petition to the individual. Service by mail means that your “server” mails the documents to your spouse.

Step 4 in Acton

Provide specific information to your friend, relative, sheriff or process server to help the “server” locate your spouse.
Start with a current mailing address for service by mail. Also provide any last known home address, business address and work schedule for personal service. Include a recent photograph and physical description for the sheriff or process server ServeProNow.com.

Step 5 in Acton

Consider service by mail if your spouse agrees to the divorce and wants to expedite the process.
You ask your “server” to mail the court papers to your spouse’s home address via certified mail. Your spouse completes a Response (form FL-120) and Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt (form FL-117), and files them with the court in Acton.
If your spouse refuses to accept service by mail, the documents need to be served in person by ServeProNow.com.

Step 6 in Acton

Ask the person who serves the Summons, by mail or in person, to sign the Proof of Service of Summons (form FL-115.)
Both professional and non-professional servers complete this form, to be filed with the court. Obtain the original Proof of Service of Summons from the person who delivered the Summons to your spouse, and verify the form is completely filled out and properly signed.

Step 7 in Acton

Make a copy of the Proof of Service of Summons for yourself and submit the original form FL-115 to the court.
File the original in-person with the family law clerk at the court clerk’s office in Acton.
Ask for a time-stamped copy as proof of filing.

Do you have any questions in Acton ?

How to Serve Divorce Papers in Acton California

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How Much Does a Divorce in California Cost ?

How Much Does a Divorce in California Cost?

Law Offices of Don Glass, Esq
$695 flat fee Divorce Attorney
We handle everything for you: Prepare, File, Serve
www.AttorneyPreparedDivorceForms.com
www.CaliforniaOnlineDivorceAttorney.com
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How Much Does a Divorce in California Cost?

Court Fees Determined by County
Each county determines its own divorce filing charges. There might be a response fee to pay to officially notify your spouse of the divorce filing. Every year these fees change, but a figure for courthouse filing charges is between $435 to $450.

 

Final Costs in {flood} Depends Upon Circumstances

Divorce is always hard because it is a process requiring the cooperation of two parties who were not able to cooperate in their marriage. It pays for both parties to work together to find the best solution, but emotions get in the way. Some want to “punish” the other spouse with endless paperwork, half-truths and outright lies.  California is a no-fault state making it very easy to get a divorce. It is wise for the ex-spouses to understand that their property is a “total estate.” The more one spouse makes the process difficult for the other party, the more it will reduce the total value of the estate.  The time for the completion of your divorce depends upon your circumstances – mindset, children and property. It might be completed as fast as 6 months or take years. Every judge will give you a different answer.

The Average Cost of an Uncontested Divorce in {flood}?

When you and your spouse agree to divorce and you also agree about how you’re going to separate your lives, an uncontested divorce can save you a great deal of money. Exactly how much it will cost you depends on several factors. If you feel comfortable handling the matter yourself and you don’t mind doing a little research into your state’s legal procedures, you might spend less than $500. If you hire an attorney to take care of the details for you, that figure might rise even higher.  At AttorneyPreparedDivorceForms.com, the attorney charges a flat fee for an Uncontested divorce starting at $695 flat fee.

Representing Yourself in {flood}

If you decide you don’t want to use an attorney, you have two options. You can purchase a divorce kit on the Internet, usually for less than $200. These include all the forms and documents necessary for your state. You can usually get the same forms for free if you want to invest some time into tracking them down. You might also be able to get them from your local courthouse or find a format you can follow at a public law library.  At AttorneyPreparedDivorceForms.com, the attorney charges a flat fee for an Uncontested divorce starting at $695.
Using a Divorce Attorney in {flood}

If you choose to use a lawyer, the cost of your uncontested divorce will depend on where you live, who you hire and your fee arrangement. Many attorneys offer flat fees for uncontested divorces; others charge retainer fees, which act as deposits they bill against monthly for the hours they invest in cases. The average flat fee ranges from $1000 to $1,500, depending on the complexity of your assets and whether you have children. If you retain an attorney, he will bill your deposit at the rate of $250 to $450 for each hour of his time. Attorneys practicing in large metropolitan areas may charge more than $450, and those in rural areas may charge less than $250.  At AttorneyPreparedDivorceForms.com, the attorney charges a flat fee for an Uncontested divorce starting at $695.
Extra Costs

Whether you handle your divorce yourself or hire an attorney, there will be extra costs. State courts charge a filing fee for a divorce petition, usually in the neighborhood of $435. If you use a sheriff or private process server to deliver your petition to your spouse, this will cost an additional of $100.   You can bypass this expense if you’re on amicable terms with your spouse. He can sign an acceptance of your petition, which you would then file with the court. Realistically, you should add an additional $500 onto the cost of your divorce kit or your attorney’s fees for these expenses.  At AttorneyPreparedDivorceForms.com, the attorney charges a flat fee for an Uncontested divorce starting at $695.

How Long Does an Uncontested Divorce Take in {flood}?

About Uncontested Divorces in {flood}
Couples that agree with the marriage ending, and have no property, debt, child supportchild custody or alimony to discuss seek uncontested divorces.  Divorces can be emotionally exhausting, financially challenging and a very time-consuming process. Some couples are able to push aside their differences and look to go through an uncontested divorce. An uncontested divorce is a divorce in which both sides agree on the dissolution of the marriage and agree on asset dispersal.

Uncontested Divorce Process in {flood}
The first step in the uncontested divorce is to draft a Marital Settlement Agreement, or divorce settlement agreement. This document will divide couples assets, property and debt between the two parties. If children are involved it may also include child custody and child support arrangements. After the Marital Settlement Agreement is agreed upon, one of the spouses needs to file an official Complaint for Divorce with the court in their county or state.  After the Complaint is filed with the court, the papers must served on the other spouse. This can occur quickly, within days or a week of filing the paper. The non-filing spouse has 31 days to respond the petition. There is a six month waiting period for a final divorce.  At AttorneyPreparedDivorceForms.com, the attorney charges a flat fee for an Uncontested divorce starting at $695.

 

Children and Uncontested Divorces in {flood}
If a couple has children it is best to consult a divorce attorney before any final papers are signed.  California has strict laws about child support and custody issues, and both sides should be protected against unfair and illegal custody/support issues. In addition, a judge must sign off on child custody arrangement, as they will attempt to determine if it is the best plan for the children involved.

 

Default Proceedings

Sometimes the other spouse refuses to cooperate in any fashion. Not only do they refuse to sign paperwork, but they also refuse to participate in mediation and they don’t show up for court dates. In these circumstances, the petitioning spouse may request a default divorce action. This means that the court will accept the version of circumstances as presented by the petitioning spouse. They tend to abide by the paperwork as filed without considering the other spouse’s position. Default proceedings are usually commenced after the 31 day response period has elapsed. The petitioner is granted a divorce without the necessity for obtaining a signature from the other party.

Contested Divorce in {flood}

The time leading up to the court hearing can be contentious. Hopefully, both parties are working with legal counsel, which can smooth out some of the bumps in the road. While waiting for the hearing date, the parties may participate in mediation to see if an agreement can be reached. If not, then both parties must appear before a judge who will listen to testimony and review evidence before deciding on the proper division of property and the arrangements for child custody and support.  At AttorneyPreparedDivorceForms.com, the attorney charges a flat fee for an Uncontested divorce starting at $695.

Law Offices of Don Glass, Esq
$695 flat fee Divorce Attorney
in {flood}
We handle everything for you: Prepare, File, Serve
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951-501-3554

Child Support with 18 year olds

$295 Flat Fee Divorce Attorney to file for divorce or legal separation at www.CaliforniaOnlineDivorceAttorney.com at 951-501-3554

Child Support with 18 year olds.

If you have a child or children of the marriage/partnership who is/are now 18, there is one more factor you should be aware of regarding the age of children of the marriage/partnership – as it relates to child support.

To take into account the fact that many 18 year olds are still in high school and residing at home, the duration of the child support obligation has been extended slightly in such cases to support a child beyond the normal Family Code 6500 definition of minority.

For child support purposes only, a child of the marriage/partnership who is entitled to support is one who, pursuant to Family Code 3901, is either less than 18 years old OR is less than 19 years old AND unmarried AND is a full time high school student AND is not self supporting. It is possible under these circumstances to have an adult child support order.

So listed here, along with minor children of the marriage/partnership, are any living children of the marriage/partnership who are between their 18th and 19th birthdays. Any such child of the marriage/partnership will not be listed on your divorce Petition for purposes of custody and visitation, but if that child will still be an 18-year old un-emancipated full time high school student on the date on which the Judge will sign your divorce judgment, it will be listed in the divorce judgment for purposes of child support only.

That will also apply to any minor child who is under 18 and listed on your Petition at the time of filing but who later becomes an un-emancipated 18 year old full time high school student before the Judge gets to sign your judgment.

$295 Flat Fee – File for Divorce or Separation

$295 flat fee file for Divorce or Separation
Attorney Prepared Divorce forms
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Our Law Firm prepares Your documents for a Complete Final Judgment

The State of California has created one of the most complex divorce procedures in the country. You want and need to hire a Lawyer that practices in California divorce and nothing but California divorce.

There are 35-40 separate legal documents (many of them 3 or 4 pages each) in the average uncontested California divorce with minor children. There are a few less docs if there are no minor children. Almost every one of those docs involves one or more complex legal issues. If you do not understand those issues, it will be difficult for you to know what is being requested, let alone how to word your responses the way the court wants to see them.

There is no way that the average person can simply download blank docs, fill them in, file them at court and get an easy divorce for free. That just doesn’t happen anymore. It’s now way too difficult.
Making matters even worse is that every single court interprets the legal docs differently in some way. The court will reject your self-prepared docs and you will not even understand the reasons for rejection because those reasons will be written in legal-ese and jargon that only courts and lawyers understand. Court clerks are not there to help you, and they don’t. Repairing a messed-up case is expensive.
When you start for $95, you complete our Online Divorce Interview that covers uncontested divorce issues and can be used as a tool to have an Uncontested Amicable divorce – Use Anytime, Anywhere & Any Device.
Our goal is for you to have an amicable uncontested divorce and avoid court hearings and trials. If this is your goal, then you have found the right law firm.
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Divorce Average Income Calculation

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Divorce Average Income Calculation

It means the average GROSS (before deductions) monthly income actually received during the last 12 months in each of the individual cetegories of income listed in the table above.

So add up all your gross income actually received in each category of income (e.g. salary, overtime, commission, pensions received, etc.) in which you have received any income during the past 12 months. Most people receive income in only one or two categories. So most of these boxes will remain empty or zeroed. Then divide that figure from each category of income by 12 and enter the result to the right of the category of income in question and under the column titled ‘Average Monthly.’

So let’s look at some examples. If you’ve received $3,000 in base gross salary for each of the last 12 months, that’s easy. Your total is $36,000 ($3,000 X 12 or more precisely 12 $3,000’s added together). Your average is ($36,000 divided by 12) $3,000.

If you received unemployment benefits of $1000 per month for three months during the last 12 months, your total unemployment compensation is $3,000, but you still divide that $3,000 by 12, not 3. You’re looking for the 12-month average – not the average for the number of months for which that category of income was actually received. So the answer is ($3,000 divided by 12) $250.

Bear in mind that it is the receipt of the income, not the earning of it, that counts. If you’ve just earned a $5,000 bonus but have not received it, you don’t count it here.

California Cheap Low Cost Divorce Attorney

California Cheap Low Cost Divorce Attorney in California
By Don Glass, Esq. – CaliforniaOnlineDivorceAttorney.com
$395 & $695 Flat Fee Uncontested Divorce Attorney
951-501-3554
There is absolutely nothing incorrect with wishing to know how to get a cheap divorce in {flood} — providing your divorce is straightforward and uncontested. If you and your spouse are in agreement and can stay so, and there are no complicated issues in your case, a cheap divorce attorney in {flood} is precisely what you should be looking for.
A cheap divorce in {flood} means paying only for the legal services you require based on the facts of your case. And, that is exactly the type of legal services we provide in {flood}.
Yet numerous divorce attorneys in {flood} will inform you that obtaining a cheap divorce in {flood} is risky. That’s rubbish. Exactly what they suggest is that obtaining a cheap divorce in {flood} without them is foolish. The only {flood} divorce attorneys who still use such fear-mongering techniques are those who want to charge you $5000 in {flood} .
Don’t be mislead by the fear-mongering and price anchoring methods used by lots of such older {flood} divorce lawyers. Some of them remember when they were the only divorce show in {flood} .
These days, {flood} divorce lawyers need to compete with glossy on-line divorce mill sites based in Seattle, Virginia, Texas and India. And guess what! The unqualified, commonly downright deceitful, divorce mills have been beating the pants off {flood} divorce lawyers since the early 2000’s. The divorce mills have actually framed their solutions to you, the divorce consumer, much better than the older {flood} divorce lawyers ever did.
The problem has been that while divorce consumers in {flood} have flocked to the slick online divorce websites, primarily because they do offer cheap divorce in {flood}, the unqualified, unaccountable con-men who run those glossy websites are not great at what they do. Actually, they are horrible. If you pay $300 to a non-lawyer divorce site, but you end up paying forever for their blunders in your divorce, that’s NOT a cheap divorce in {flood}.
If only there were cheap divorce attorney solutions in {flood}. Well, things are changing.
On-line divorce mills are still unskilled, and they are doubling down on the fraudulent techniques that have actually worked very well for them. That’s due to the fact that the divorce mills have much better internet sites, wicked-cool online applications and they lie and cheat like a boss to trick {flood} divorce customers into hiring them.
If only there were much more competitive divorce attorney services in {flood}, your costs would be decreased to around the level offered by the online divorce mills.
Well, we have found numerous cost-cutting practices and strategies that are jointly described as “virtual law practice.” Many of these virtual strategies are based upon cloud solutions that crunch conventional time-consuming activities while making it possible for the divorce customer to be much more hands-on in her own divorce case. The outcome is a happier professional much more inclined to be effective and innovative, a lot more attuned to your legal and economic interests, a lower cost of doing business and a much more cost-effective package for the smart divorce consumer. Virtual divorce is the law practice equivalent of the gig economy.
What this means is that you will only use the {flood} divorce lawyer for important legal solutions, such as providing legal advice, document preparation and document evaluation.
Our $395 flat fee = You will perform the unskilled jobs of filing your case at court and arranging for your spouse to be served with the docs. These tasks are easy and the {flood} divorce attorney would certainly provide you with instructions.
Our $695 flat fee = we will manage and arrange the filing of your case at court and arrange for your spouse to be served with the docs.
You need to address one question honestly to yourself.
Do not kid yourself. That question is: What is more crucial to me in getting my cheap divorce in {flood} – having a lawyer on my team or using a costly non-lawyer?
Answer that question realistically and your divorce hiring decision is made for you.
If you are pretty certain that your {flood} divorce is straightforward and uncontested, OR if you simply want to have the insurance coverage of a lawyer on your side should anything go wrong, then employ Don Glass, Esq. at CaliforniaOnlineDivorceAttorney.com, at our online divorce website concentrating on only California divorce.
$395 flat fee divorce or $695 flat fee divorce by attorney Don Glass, Esq. at CaliforniaOnlineDivorceAttorney.com at 951-501-3554
Start your {flood} divorce now for only $95.00

Pregnancy Issues

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PREGNANCY ISSUES

As you might expect, pregnancy is a potentially dangerous issue during a divorce case. Read through the following factors regarding pregnancy in divorce. They are designed to keep the considerations as simple as possible – without ignoring the legal practicalities of pregnancy in divorce:

1. If the wife is pregnant and both spouse/partners agree that the pregnancy is a pregnancy of this marriage/partnership, there is no problem here.

2. However, if the wife is pregnant and the spouse/partners do not agree that the pregnancy is a pregnancy of this marriage/partnership, that’s a big problem. If there is a current pregnancy AND a dispute regarding the paternity of that pregnancy, you and your spouse/partner MUST resolve that dispute through medical tests before proceeding. That could involve considerable delay dependent upon the extent of the pregnancy.

3. If the wife is pregnant and there is good reason to believe that the husband is not the father, that is an even bigger problem for the divorce process than if there was a simple dispute about paternity. It is a bigger problem because of the strong presumption in law that the pregnancy of a married woman is the child of the husband. Medical evidence can rebut that presumption of course, but medical tests cannot always be performed. What are your practical options here? You can obtain medical proof, when that is available, that the pregnancy is not a child of the marriage/partnership and then decide that the presumption has been rebutted on the factual strength of your medical evidence. You could then answer “no” to the pregnancy question (the divorce Petition asks for “minor children of the marriage/partnership” – not whether there is a pregancy, so if you have determined that the pregnancy is not a child of the marriage/partnership, it is not a problem if you answer “no” to the pregnancy question). If you don’t want to bother with medical evidence, you can wait until the pregnancy no longer exists and answer the question “no.” Or if you don’t want to bother with medical evidence AND you do not want to wait, you can answer the question as “yes” right now. If you do so, you must list the unborn child as a child of the marriage/partnership because of the strong legal presumption that you have not rebutted with medical evidence. Then later in the case, depending upon how fast you move in your case, you would either have to file an amended Petition to remove the child from the Petition after the child is born or you would have to provide the court, probably during a court hearing, and always providing that the medical evidence supports you, with proof that the unborn child originally listed in the Petition is not in fact a child of the marriage/partnership.

4. If your current answer to the pregnancy question changes before the date on which your divorce case is first filed at court, you MUST modify your answer before printing or re-printing the first set of legal documents to be filed at court.

5. If your current answer to the pregnancy question changes after the date on which your case is first filed at court, you MUST modify your answer. Then you will have to print out and file at court an amended Petition to reflect that change.

You should also bear in mind that there are limitations on filing amended paperwork at court. Generally speaking, but this is not a hard and fast rule, the court will permit one “free” amendment without you having to provide a reason for the amendment. So you should not “waste” your free amendment if at all possible.