Category: Divorce Paralegals

Examples of Documents You Need for a Divorce Case

Before you apply for a divorce, you need to gather the relevant documents that the court will use during the process. Below are a few examples of documents you need.

List of Assets

You have to divide your marital assets upon divorce. State law determines the assets to divide and the ones to keep as separate property. Before you get to that point, however, you must provide a list of all the assets you own either with your spouse or alone. Examples of such assets include:

  • Household items
  • Real estate properties
  • Cars
  • Cash
  • Stocks and shares

Do not leave anything out.

Proof of Property Ownership and Acquisition

Apart from a list of properties, you may also need to prove how you acquired them. For example, many states allow you to keep properties you acquired before the marriage as your separate property. However, you must prove that you acquired the properties before marriage and they are still in your name.

Say a relative gifted you a car before your marriage. You can use the car’s title, showing the date of issue, to prove when you acquired the car. You can use financial statements, such as bank statements, to show money in the bank. Business registration, licenses, and ownership documents are necessary if you own a business.

Proof of Income

Income plays multiple roles in divorce proceedings. For example, the court can use your respective incomes to determine child support, spousal support, property division, and debt division. Documents you need to prove your income can include:

  • Paystubs
  • Business financial statements
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements

Remember, you must include proof of income from all sources, from your day job to any side businesses.

Proof of Debts

You must divide the marital debts just as you do marital assets. However, the court will not just accept your word on your personal loan amount. You must prove all debts via legitimate documents. For example, you may need credit card statements and mortgage documents to prove your debts.

Insurance Documents

All the insurance policies you own can affect your divorce judgment. For example, the court may use your health insurance policy to determine whether you need spousal support for health insurance after the divorce. Your education insurance may determine how much child support you need for your child’s education. Therefore, you must avail all the insurance documents.

Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements

Some couples create detailed agreements before or after marriage to predetermine certain issues upon divorce. For example, you can use a prenuptial agreement to determine who gets the family pets in case of a divorce. Again, a verbal agreement will not suffice in court; you must deposit the prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in court for it to verify and enforce the agreement.

Marital Expenses

Your marital expenses prove your standard of living during your marriage. The standard of living determines who needs alimony and how much it should be. The standard of living may also influence the child support calculations. Documents you may need here include:

  • Utility bills
  • Receipts for rent payments
  • Evidence of major purchases
  • Credit card statements
  • Bank statements

You cannot have too many documents as far as proof of expenses is concerned. Your spouse might dispute anything you cannot prove. Avail all the documents you can gather.

Hopefully, you have all the documents you need for your divorce. Legal Document Assistants can help you prepare, notarize, and file these documents in court. We can also serve your spouse with any legal documents during your divorce. Contact us for help with divorce documents or other legal documentation. We look forward to assisting you.

LDA Registration: 2016-01 “We are not attorneys. We can not provide legal advice. We can not represent you in court. We can only prepare documents at your direction. If you need legal advice or you need an attorney, we can refer you to an attorney within our cooperating attorney network.” Payment is required prior to service.

The 5 Basic Steps for Uncontested Divorce in California

When both spouses mutually consent to the terms of their divorce or legal separation, they can file for an uncontested divorce. Compared to a contested divorce, an uncontested divorce takes less time and money in legal fees. However, before filing for divorce, you should know the steps beforehand to avoid future complications. Keep reading on to learn what they are. 


Why Does Uncontested Divorce Take So Long in California?

Divorce cases are often complex, and nobody is unaware of that. A multitude of attributes like child custody, asset division, spousal support, etc., are merged with the divorce procedure. And that is why divorce takes pretty long to accomplish in the state of California.     

Estimating the duration of divorce is quite challenging. To be precise, the time period between the initial divorce filing and the final court judgment differs from one case to another. Since an uncontested divorce is free from all the complications and disagreement, in the state of California there is a cooling-off period. Which is six months and one day, from the date the other party is served, for the judge to finalize the divorce 

To ensure the divorce court documents are prepared correctly and smoothly to completion, you can always seek paralegal services in Sacramento to draft the divorce documents. File the documents, and serve the other party.


Steps and Costs for an Uncontested Divorce

As mentioned earlier in the article, a couple files an uncontested divorce when they both agree on:

  • Child support 
  • Child visitation
  • Spousal support 
  • Child custody 
  • Property allocation 
  • Debt division  

When there is no contest in a divorce filing, the legal procedures involved get easier. Once you meet California’s residency obligation, you can proceed with the following steps. 


Step 1: Petition filing 

When filing the uncontested divorce petition with the court, you need to mention some basic information regarding you, your spouse, the reason for divorce, duration of the marriage, financial disclosures, etc. The moment you file the petition, you and your partner should no longer accumulate community property. 

Note: As per the California divorce law, the individual who first files the divorce petition is called the petitioner, and the other partner becomes the respondent. 


Step 2: Serve the respondent 

After filing the petition, the California court asks you to serve your spouse the initially filed divorce documents, informing him/her that a divorce case has commenced. Also, you need to serve the respondent with all the divorce paperwork you have filed this far. 

If you and your partner are not on good terms, you can hire a process server to serve your spouse instead of handling the task on your own. 


Step 3: Wait for the respondent’s answer 

When you serve your spouse, he/she gets a period of 30 days to respond. The respondent must complete a parallel set of legal documents and file them with the court clerk. If the respondent fails to respond within the expected timeframe, the court has full authority to present a default verdict. 

Usually, in an uncontested divorce with children and/or assets, the respondent signs and notarizes a marriage settlement agreement. Agreeing to all the divorce terms. In an uncontested divorce with no children or assets, if the respondent does not file a response, a default judgment can be entered, without a marriage settlement agreement.


Step 4: Preliminary declaration of disclosure 

 In this step, both the petitioner and the respondent need to interchange financial documents involving the post-divorce property allocation and debt. Additionally, the documents should include all the information regarding tax returns. 


Step 5: The final judgment 

When you complete all the prior steps successfully, the judge approves the divorce procedure and ceases the case. Signing the final judgment divorce document to finalize your divorce.


Do you need to hire an attorney to file an uncontested divorce? 

Since there is no complication in the case, you might not need any lawyer to represent you in court. Most likely there will not be a hearing if the other party doesn’t contest. However, you will need expert legal aid to draft the divorce forms, petition, marriage settlement agreement, final court papers, etc. 

When you seek paralegal support to file your divorce, they equip you with all the helpful resources, making sure that your divorce filing goes smoothly.  

As you can see, filing an uncontested divorce does not ask you to have to deal with any court complications. So, you can conveniently get the work done by hiring a paralegal expert, saving your money, as well as your precious time. Feel free to contact us if you need paralegal legal assistance.

Things You Need to Know About Contested Divorce in California

When one of the spouses disagrees with divorce-related issues, contested divorce cases become complicated to administer. It can be anything from fighting for assets and property to winning child custody, etc. A simple filing of divorce papers with the court could hardly solve it. The case needs more attention, legal assistance, and constant expert guidance to overcome.

What Is A Contested Divorce?

Before you proceed to file for divorce, understand what happens with a contested divorce, there are several aspects surrounding the case that you need be aware of. To start with, you first need to know what makes a divorce contested. The simplest way to describe it is the difference in opinions between the partners.

The issues arise concerning:

  • The property division
  • Parenting plan
  • Child custody & support
  • Responsibility for clearing the debts


How Long Does A Divorce Take In California?

Generally, in California, a contested divorce takes around 6 months from the petition submitted to accomplish. However, if the divorce involves many issues relating to the division of assets and debts along with child custody and support, it might possibly take a year or more. This is why you need legal support to ensure a your divorce case proceeds quickly.


What Is Garnishment Of Wages? Why Might I Need It?

In some cases when a couple gets legally separated, the court orders a former spouse to bear the financial support of the other. And one fine example of this is Wage Garnishment. It is a legal procedure where the court asks the employer to withhold a part of the paycheck of an individual and send it directly to the spouse for child support or spousal support.

If your spouse refuses to pay for child support, yet the individual earns a substantial amount of money, you would need to take legal action, i.e. wage garnishment. For that, you would need to request order by the court, demanding a wage garnishment to get support arrearages. If you think your spouse may not be disclosing income or assets you can also serve your spouse a subpoena to support your request for an order of wage garnishment.


What Is Spousal Support? (Alimony)

When a marriage is ended, a former spouse may have to support the other financially, chiefly known as spousal support or alimony. It is devised to help a spouse economically who earns less or is unemployed during the marriage.

Moreover, in California, you do not need to prove that your spouse is responsible for breaking off the marriage to get alimony. You can simply apply for spousal support after your divorce.


Sole Custody vs. Joint Custody

The debated issue in a contested divorce case is struggling to win custody of the child. When a marriage ends, the verdict of who will get custody becomes a top priority. And the court bestows the responsibility of the child where the kid’s growth and welfare remain unharmed.

According to California law, either parent is able to take custody of the child, or they can share it. Moreover, there comes the rules of visitation, meaning the time each parent can spend with their child. When a contest arises in the decision regarding the parenting plan or visitation, the judge becomes liable for making the final verdict at the court hearing.


Types of custody in  California

The state grants the following custody orders-

Physical custody: Determines with whom the child will stay.

Legal custody: Decides which parent will make crucial decisions for the child, including his/her education, welfare, and health care.


You probably know how complex contested divorceasset allocation between spouses, and child custody can be. Prior to making any quick decision in such an emotionally-charged situation, always consult your attorney or paralegal expert before drafting any document or taking the next steps.

Divorce Paralegal Sacramento

Here is everything you need to consider before hiring a divorce paralegal

Hiring an attorney might not be an affordable option for people seeking a divorce. However, in Sacramento, many people still find it to be too appalling to take up the finalization of their divorce through the court practice on their own—without proper guidance or management.

Instead of appointing a divorce attorney on retainer, some couples find it better to hire a divorce paralegal in Sacramento to aid them. These specialists can support you and they present several benefits at a lower charge, in comparison to an attorney.

How do you know if appointing a divorce paralegal could be the right choice for you? To receive more information about what they have to offer, scroll through the upcoming passages.

Who is a divorce paralegal?

A divorce paralegal is commonly a backup to an attorney. A divorce attorney directly oversees some of them within the same office. Others may practice individually, based on their particular experience, education, or training.

Remember that a paralegal does not have the right or capacity to represent you in court. Only attorneys can offer that. Therefore, you should hire an attorney of you need legal advice or legal representation in court. A paralegal also cannot represent you in court if your divorce heads to trial.

The right divorce paralegal should be capable of helping you prepare all the required divorce court forms, for an uncontested divorce. A divorce paralegal should have family law experience and be very proficient in knowing which documents need to be prepared for your divorce and custody case. Instead of trying to tackle the divorce paperwork on your own, there is a reliable more affordable option available by hiring a divorce paralegal.

Things to consider when hiring a divorce paralegal

Before you hire a divorce paralegal, consider the factors below:

  1. Check their previous clients experiences, their responsiveness to your phone calls and emails, and their ability to perceiving the details surrounding your specific case. You also shouldn’t compromise with the relevance of tidiness in their office and the friendliness towards their staff and other Associates.
  2. Seek paralegals who have registered as a Legal Document Assistant, LDA. In order to become a registered LDA, the paralegal must have graduated from an American Bar Association approved Legal Assisting program. LDAs are also required to file a bond. Check to see if they are registered with local associations such as California Legal Document Assistants, CALDA.
  3. You will want to appoint someone who specializes as a divorce paralegal and is a registered LDA. They must be very experienced in family law matters and should be able to accommodate your needs in office or have the capability of assisting you entirely online. A divorce paralegal should make the process easy for you to be able to finalize your divorce.

Legal Document Assistants, is a reliable paralegal firm. Hopefully, this info has helped you understand the significance of hiring a divorce paralegal in Sacramento. Don’t forget to follow the instructions before you hire a divorce paralegal.We will help you find a reliable divorce paralegal who can offer you great guidance at reasonable charges.

Download Divorce Intake Form