Filing for a divorce is hard, even if it’s the right thing to do. Getting a divorce might be the only option when things are bad. But the question is how to file for a divorce in Orange County. 

If you’re nervous about starting the process, we understand. But you have to start somewhere. Whatever the situation is, you must hire the best divorce lawyers in Orange County to get peace of mind in this emotional event. In this article, you will learn how to file for divorce in Orange County, CA. 

Residency Requirement 

The first thing you need to do when you want to get a divorce in Orange County is to check if you meet the residency requirement. You must have lived in California for at least six months before you file for divorce. On the other hand, if you want to file at the Orange County Superior Court, you need to have lived in Orange County for three months before filing.

Grounds for Divorce In California 

In California, the spouse who starts the divorce doesn’t have to blame the other person for anything. This is called a “no-fault” divorce. In simple words, Irreconcilable differences are enough to end a marriage legally. Plus, both people don’t have to agree to the divorce. If one spouse wants it, the other person can’t stop it legally.

What Documents Are Required to File For a Divorce In Orange County, CA?

You’ll need to deal with a pile of papers you must give to the court. Here are the forms you need to start a divorce in Orange County:

  • Petition: FL-100 — Marriage/Domestic Partnership 
  • Summons: FL-110 — The Summons informs your spouse that you’ve started a court case and that they have 30 days to respond.
  • Family Law Declaration Re: Related Cases: L1120
  • Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction & Enforcement Act: FL-105

Once you’ve completed these forms, you can file with the Orange County divorce court. 

File with Court 

When you want to get a divorce in Orange County, you need to bring the original documents and two extra copies to the family law clerk at the Lamoreaux Justice Center. 

You also have to pay the filing fee of  $435. After you pay, the clerk will keep the original documents and give you back one copy, which is called a “certified copy.” It is suggested to keep one copy for yourself and give the other copy to your spouse. However, you should get help from the best divorce lawyers in Orange County to make this process errorless. 

Serve Papers 

The certified copy needs to be given to your spouse in person, but you can’t do it yourself. It means you can’t serve divorce papers to your partner. On the other hand, you can choose anyone who’s at least 18 years old, like a family member, friend, or coworker. Plus, The person giving the papers has to write down when and where they gave them to your spouse. This is important so the court knows the papers were given properly. In other words, this thing becomes proof of service of summon.

The Response 

After you give the papers to your spouse, they have 30 days to file a response with the court. 

If they don’t provide any response after a month, you can ask the court to decide without them.

What happens next depends on whether the divorce is contested or uncontested. If there is an uncontested divorce, the spouse must look for divorce meditation. On the other hand, what happens if your spouse won’t sign divorce papers or disagrees, you might need to hire a divorce lawyer and get ready for a court case. At the Hills Law group, we can help you with either choice.

Disadvantages of DIY Divorce Include 

  • You might make mistakes when filling out the forms 
  • You can miss the deadlines, which can make things take a long time, even years.
  • You might agree to court decisions about important things like child support, spousal support, and property division. 
  • You can ignore the important legal and financial problems that come with divorce 
  • You might not think about how your choices will affect your taxes, which could end up costing you more money later.
  • You might not know how to follow requirements in court, like showing evidence the right way.

Get Help from the Best Divorce Lawyers In Orange County

Divorce is an emotional journey. The legal process can make it even harder. But at Hills Law Group, we believe in giving people choices. 

When couples decide to get divorced, they have to make a lot of decisions that could affect them for a long time. Our professional lawyers find the best way for everyone to move forward peacefully. We’ll make sure everyone’s needs are considered.


How long does it take to get a divorce in Orange County?

It depends on whether divorce is contested or uncontested. If spouses agree, it can take about six months to sort out everything such as assets, children, finances, etc. On the other hand, a contested divorce can take a lot longer, even years. 

How much do you have to pay to file for a divorce in Orange County, California?

You must pay $435 to start the divorce process in Orange County. But if you can’t afford it, you may submit a request to Waive Court Fees to let you skip the fee. They’ll look at your financial situation to decide if you can skip it.

What is the first thing to do to get a divorce in California?

The first thing is providing the right information to the county clerk. They’ll check if it’s enough to start the divorce. To be eligible to file, the petitioner or their spouses need to meet California residency requirements and the county where they want to file for a certain time.