Instructions for Disso/Legal Separation/Nullity- Step 1


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Instructions for Disso/Legal Separation/Nullity- Step 1

  1. 1. Starting a Divorce Step #1 Self-Service Center HOW TO:  Start a Dissolution (“divorce”), Legal Separation or Nullity (“annulment”) case. WHEN TO USE:  You and your husband/wife have never filed for divorce in any City, State or Country.  You are not asking for Spousal Support orders.  You do not have children OR you already have a child support order in another case.  Note: There are different times you can file the forms necessary to process a divorce and still be correct. In order to make the process as easy-to-follow as possible the Self-Service Center has turned the default Divorce process into 3 steps. Our format will help you process your divorce forms that way. If you’d like to process your forms in another way, you can, but our system will not be the best for you. Self-Service Center Superior Court, County of Santa Clara 99 Notre Dame Avenue, San Jose, CA 95113 408-882-2900 x-2926 Santa Clara County Santa Clara County State of California Self-Help website General website Self-Help website 1/19/07
  2. 2. INSTRUCTIONS A. Fill out the attached blank forms (type or print neatly in blue or black ink):  Summons (form #FL-110)  Petition (form #FL-100)  Add if you have children: Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (form #FL-105)  Proof of Service of Summons (form #FL-115) You can get these forms from the Court’s website at (then click on “Family” and then “Rules/Forms”), you can buy them from Rose Printing (39 N. First St., San Jose 293-8177) or the forms will be provided to you if you come to the Center for help. B. How to File Your Papers – Follow these easy steps in order, from 1 to 3: 1. Make 2 copies of your completed papers (one for You and one for your husband/wife). The original is for the Court file. 2. Take your papers to the Clerk’s Office to file them. They will stamp a case number on your forms. The filing fee is $320. A. OPTIONAL: Get a Fee Waiver:  Fill out and turn in an Application for Waiver of Court Fees and Costs packet (forms #FW-001 and #FW-003). You can pick these forms up at the Clerk’s Office or the Self-Service Center.  Turn your fee waiver forms and your divorce forms into the Document Examiner window at either 170 Park Center Plaza or 99 Notre Dame Avenue, San Jose, CA 95113. They will present your fee waiver forms to the Judge for his or her approval. Include at least one pay stub or proof of income.  Your file-stamped copies may be returned to you right then OR you may be asked to return in up to 48 hours to pick up your filed papers from the Clerk’s Office, OR they may be mailed to you, already file-stamped. OR B. How to file if you CAN afford the filing fee:  Bring the original and all the copies of your forms and the filing fee to the Clerk’s Office office/window at either 170 Park Center Plaza or 99 Notre Dame Avenue, San Jose, CA 95113.  The clerk will file-stamp your papers.  The clerk will keep the original for the Court file.  The clerk will give you back your file-stamped copies. 1/19/07
  3. 3. 3. Serve the papers – You must have filed copies of the papers hand-delivered to your husband/wife. If you are filing an Order to Show Cause (OSC) with your divorce forms, serve the divorce forms along with the OSC forms in the timeframe described in the OSC handout. IMPORTANT: You cannot serve the papers yourself Papers can be served by an adult (18 years or older) or by a professional process server (find them in the telephone book). These are the papers that must be hand-delivered to your husband/wife:  A filed copy of the Summons (form #FL-110)  A filed copy of the Petition (form #FL-100)  Alternate Dispute Resolution Options (Local form #FM-1021)  Optional: A filed copy of the Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (form #FL-105) if you filed one You must also include papers to be used by your husband/wife to respond to your Petition. Do not fill these out. They are for your husband/wife to fill out:  A blank Response (form #FL-120)  Optional: A blank Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (form #FL-105) if you filed one Whoever delivers (“serves”) the papers must complete & sign the Proof of Service of Summons (form #FL-115) form. Your husband/wife, who receives the papers, does not sign this form. The person who served your husband/wife gives the Proof of Service of Summons to you to file with the Clerk’s Office. IMPORTANT: File the original Proof of Service of Summons with the Clerk’s Office. Your husband/wife has 30 days from the date after they are served to file a Response. If they file a Response, the Court will automatically issue you a court date for a Case Management Conference. If the other party does not file a Response within 30 days, you may finish the case by “default” (without their involvement). You will not automatically be divorced after 6 months. Learn about how to finish your divorce by talking to the Self-Service Center attorneys for legal information or a private attorney for legal advice. Referrals to private and low-cost attorneys are available at the Self-Service Center or on the court’s website. You must know the court’s local rules. They are available on the court’s website: 1/19/07