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Can You Get Divorced Without Going to Court?


Yes. In California, getting divorced without going to court is called getting an uncontested divorce. If you and your spouse agree on the terms of your split, you can put everything in writing and ask for approval from the judge.

Although you will not need to go to trial or present evidence, you will need to create a marital settlement agreement, have it notarized, and submit it to the court. You will also need to “serve” your spouse with divorce papers and fill out plenty of other paperwork.

Do You Need an Attorney for an Uncontested Divorce?

You can represent yourself in an uncontested divorce, but we don’t recommend it. If you and your spouse each hire a lawyer, your attorneys can help you resolve any outstanding issues outside of court and create an enforceable marital settlement agreement that will please the court and protect you.

Your lawyer can also help you fill out all the appropriate forms and file your paperwork on time and in the correct place. Having an attorney makes the uncontested divorce process easier and reduces the risk of mistakes that could slow down your divorce or otherwise jeopardize your best interests.

Can You Get an Uncontested Divorce If You Have Kids?

Yes. Your marital settlement agreement should include instructions for the division of your debts and assets, as well as your decisions about child custody and child support.

Your agreements on child support and child custody must be in line with California’s guidelines. If one parent wants full custody, for example, you may have to explain to the judge why this decision is in your child’s best interests.

What Are the Benefits of an Uncontested Divorce?

There are many benefits to an uncontested divorce, including the fact that uncontested divorce is cheaper and easier than traditional divorce. Uncontested divorces can also prevent divorcing couples from becoming enemies in court, which helps create a strong foundation for co-parenting.

Generally, uncontested divorces are less time-consuming, as well. If you and your spouse stay on top of all the paperwork, you can finalize your divorce in as little as 6 months.

For more pros and cons, read our blog, “Differences Between Contested v. Uncontested Divorce.”

Is Uncontested Divorce Right for You?

Every couple is different, and an uncontested divorce won’t be right for everyone. If you and your spouse know how you want to divide your property and raise your children, however, uncontested divorce might be the right option for you.

In any case, divorce is not an easy experience for anyone, and talking to a professional can help you prepare for the process and take the next steps.

Our team at Arnold Law Group, APC has been helping people like you navigate their divorces for more than 30 years, and we believe actions speak louder than words.

That’s why you become our priority as soon as you call us at (559) 900-1263 or send us a message online to get help with your case – please do not hesitate to call or click to get help with your divorce today.

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