What is the process to obtain a divorce?

How do I open a case with the Court?

To open a case with the Court, one person files the Summons and Petition. A Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) will be filed if the parties have minor child(ren). The other party must file a Response. There is a time limit in which the Response must be filed with the Court. A UCCJEA must be filed along with the Response if the parties have minor child(ren). If the Response is not filed within the time limit, that party may be subject to a default and lose his/her “voice” with the Court.

What is the next step?

The second step is the completion and exchange of the preliminary declaration of disclosure. These are judicial council forms which disclose your assets and debts, as well as your income and expenses, under penalty of perjury. These documents are not filed with the Court. However, a document does need to be filed stating that you have served the preliminary declaration of disclosure on the other party or the party’s attorney.

How is judgment entered?

The final step is settlement of all the issues in the case. If the parties can reach agreement without court intervention, the parties sign a Stipulated Judgment, which will be signed by the Judge. If the parties cannot come to an agreement, they will have to set a date for trial and the Court will decide how the parties’ assets are to be divided, the debts assigned, if spousal or child support should be awarded, and child custody, if appropriate.