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DIY

In the tenth post in our Divorce from A to Z, we are up to J for Jurisdiction.  Jurisdiction sounds like one of those things you hear on Law & Order, but may not know exactly what it means, so we are going to talk about what it is and what that means for where you can file your California divorce case. First, jurisdiction is the authority that allows the court to hear and finalize your divorce case.  Without it, the court has no authority over you and your spouse and is unable to issue enforceable court orders.  You don't want...

In the 8th post of our Divorce from A to Z series, we are up to H.  In this case, H stands for Help! Many people start the divorce process and get the initial forms filed, but then find out that the courts have very specific ways that they want things done.  This results in a "stuck" case where the clerk or the judge keeps sending back paperwork to be redone and the case keeps dragging out forever. Even within California, each county court may have very different procedures for how each step of the divorce process is handled.  So, what can...

In the 6th post of our Divorce from A-Z series, we are up to the letter F and are discussing the Financial Disclosures that have to be made during a divorce in California. Preliminary financial disclosures are required as part of the divorce process.  You have to share certain financial information with your spouse, including your income and expenses (form FL-150), along with your assets and debts (form FL-142). These two forms help both you and the court figure out what is community property.  Because California is a community property state, assets and debts acquired during the marriage belong to both...

E is for Equalizing Payments. In the next installment of our Divorce A to Z series, we explain what Equalizing Payments are and why they may matter for your divorce. If you are going through a divorce, you have probably heard or read more than once that the court will divide all your community property in half. It seems pretty straightforward when you are talking about bank accounts or the proceeds from selling an item of community property. But what if you both want to keep the cat (legally pets are property) or the couch? How does a judge divide...

We are up to D in our Divorce from A to Z series and discussing Date of Separation when it comes to separating and divorcing.  In your divorce paperwork, you will have to list the date of separation and this date can affect you in more ways than you may think. First of all, the date of separation is the official date that the community property aspect of your marriage ends, which can be significant in determining whether an asset or a debt is community property or separate property.  For example, if one spouse acquires an asset after the date of...

In the first post of Divorce from A to Z, the "A" stood for Add-on Child Support and what that means for your divorce.  Along the same lines, "B" is for Base Child Support and is the child support that most people think of when talking about calculating child support. What is Base Child Support? Base Child Support is the monthly amount that one parent pays to another to provide a minimum amount needed to support a child. The calculation also provides a uniform standard throughout the state.  Uniformity in calculation helps a divorcing parent accurately make financial decisions based on the...

When you are a co-parent, it is important to remember that you are not a single parent and you should truly share with your ex, so your children still feel they have both parents and two homes.  But not all co-parents understand this. Remember, in sharing custody, you should not think of yourself as a single parent, since you are not, though adopting this mentality is one of the hardest things you can do in co-parenting.  If you were a single parent, your home would be your children's only home and your rules your children's only rules. You would also not...

Parents in family court have to decide whether to seek joint or sole legal custody. Before making your choice, please read the following article for an explanation of the differences between sole and joint legal custody. Legal custody tells us who has legal rights and decision-making abilities over your child. The legal rights involved include: medical decisions, educational decisions, travel, and religious choices. Joint legal custody means that both parents can make decisions regarding medical treatment, education, travel, and religious practices. Joint custody imposes a duty to discuss options with the other parent whenever possible before making a decision regarding the child, but does not require that you and the...

Ready to handle your divorce on your own? Great. We created My Virtual Divorce for people just like you. Many people choose to do their own divorces. Sometimes by desire, but most times by necessity. Divorce in California involves a series of steps that must be completed if you are to return to the status of a single person. Step One: Gather your information. To get divorced you are going to need quite a bit of financial information along with the date that you got married, the date that you got separated. Paperwork that you will commonly need includes (but is not...