How to Get a Cheap Divorce in California

by | Jul 22, 2019 | Financial Featured


California is one of the most expensive states in the US. Getting a divorce is often very expensive in California if the couple hires lawyers to represent them. However, with the help of the internet a new, more affordable option is available. Online divorce services are available in the state and they offer cheaper solutions for this issue. It has many advantages leaving the money aside, for example, it saves time and gives the client the comfort of doing it from home.

Divorce types in California

A contested divorce is the divorce in which lawyers are required. One party files a Petition demanding divorce and the other party rejects the Petition by filing a Response that objects what was asked. Usually, the child custody, support or the way the assets are shared is contested by the party that files the Response. In this case, both spouses have to hire attorneys and go to a court hearing. It is a very frustrating and expensive process. However, in some cases, people can represent themselves in court when the issues are not major. A judge will decide how the assets, debts and child support will be shared within the couple.

An uncontested divorce is a divorce where both parties agree on how the goods and child custody is shared. There are no further demands from any side and it can be completed without the help of an attorney. For small problems of sharing the assets, the couple can go to a mediator to fix the differences and then they can start collecting the necessary papers.

Filing an uncontested divorce in California

Completing the papers might be tricky for people that do not have legal experiences. However, nowadays you can get help to complete the divorce from online divorce services. There’s plenty of companies in California that can help you complete and submit the divorce papers. Some of these companies offer guidance for affordable fees, unlike attorneys. The procedure for an uncontested divorce in California is quite simple.

Here are the steps a couple has to follow for divorce:

  1. File the Petition and pay the court fees. After paying the filing fee the court will assign the case a unique case number that will be used when filing all the documents related to the divorce.
  2. After the divorce was filed for the other party will be served. Sometimes the other party might not have a known address and then the party that filed for divorce can ask the court to serve them the notice by publishing in a local newspaper. In this case, the newspaper has to be from the area where the person is believed to live in.
  3. Serve and exchange information about the properties, assets, debts and, if there’s children involved, income.
  4. Have a Marital Settlement Agreement. Hopefully, the parties will agree on this, but if necessary, they can ask the help of a mediator.
  5. File Request to enter Default. This is necessary for the divorce. It will allow the proceedings to continue without the second party to file a Response to the initial petition. The Default Request can be processed after a month since the other party was served.
  6. Submit the Final Judgement.
  7. The Judgement will be processed by the Court and the termination date is set. The marital termination date is set at least 6 months and one day after the party was served.

Cheap divorce in California

Back in the days before the internet, there was no way to get a cheap divorce in this state. With the help of online services, however, now you can get an affordable divorce.

There are three ways to get a cheap divorce here:

  1. You can get the information packet from the County Clerk’s office. With it, you can file for the divorce yourself and it’s the cheapest way to get a divorce. However, the papers might be hard to understand and it’s usually tricky to complete without having a legal education.
  2. You can buy a self-help book that will help you go through the paperwork yourself. It will help you understand the papers and you will be able to do it yourself. However, it is time-consuming, since you’ll have to read and understand the books.
  3. You can get the help of online divorce services. In California, there are plenty of legal document assistants that can help you during the divorce process and completing the papers. Services charge way less than attorneys, prices range between $200 to $800 depending on the complexity of the case. The online services offer customized care and assistance.

The online divorce services

Before contacting an online divorce company make sure that they are a legit business. Some of the companies are at least misleading. Read the reviews and do your homework before starting to pay them. Some of these companies are profit-focused and will take advantage of customers that allow them to. However, there are a lot of legit online companies that will provide customers all the information they need in order to get a divorce.

The services that most of the legit companies offer include:

  1. A self-help book to understand the California divorce process
  2. The required divorce documents, depending on the case. If there are children there are plenty of extra forms that need to be filed, also if needed the marital settlement agreement
  3. Monitoring the case to make sure that it’s progressing in time
  4. Assistance with filing the documents with the court at the proper time
  5. Assistance with any other issues until the final divorce judgment has been entered

Some companies offer extra services such as telephone assistance.


It’s easy to get a cheap, easy divorce in California with the help of online services. The process is a lot easier than it was before the internet era. However, you should be aware that not all the companies you can find online are professionals willing to help. Some of them are profit focused and will offer low standard services. Make sure to research the online company that you are willing to hire. Read the online reviews and search them on forums. See what others think of them and if they provided quality services.

The only condition that needs to be fulfilled in order to get a divorce with the help of online services is to have an uncontested divorce. In the uncontested divorce, there’s no need for an attorney. The parties must agree on how the goods, debts, child support and custody will be shared within them and then they can look for a company to help them with the papers.

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