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Divorce in Contra Costa County
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Disclaimer: Online Divorce is not a law firm and its services, website and forms are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.
Online Divorce provides access to computer-aided self-help services at your specific direction.
Online Divorce's website and written instructions provide general information about the divorce process only;
we cannot give you any specific advice, opinions or recommendations as to your selection or completion
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is a website that provides access to self-guided online questionnaires.
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Online Divorce in Contra Costa County
Please note: OnlineDivorce.com in Contra Costa County, California is a divorce document preparation service. It has no authority to provide legal advice, so all the information below is for informational purposes only.
For spouses who have agreed to proceed through the divorce process without a trial and arrange an uncontested divorce in Contra Costa County, Online Divorce is the easiest way to complete legal forms without undue costs or effort.
If your dissolution case is uncontested and amicable, there are many options for arranging an inexpensive dissolution process and minimizing stress and conflicts including collaborative and mediated divorce. Spouses who can reach an agreement on finances, property and other important issues of the case can even proceed without a lawyer using a do-it-yourself divorce in California.
For all these divorce options, using OnlineDivorce.com to fill out divorce papers in Contra Costa County is the perfect way to begin the procedure. OnlineDivorce.com provides step-by-step guidance through the process of divorce in Contra Costa County, CA.
Family Law is state-specific in the U.S., and even different counties within the state may have specific regulations concerning the filing procedure and court filing fees. OnlineDivorce always takes local rules into account when generating divorce forms. OnlineDivorce.com provides printable forms that are guaranteed to be approved by the court.
Our service prepares the necessary documents within just two days. You do not even need to leave your home to receive the completed paperwork kit, and the price is fair with no hidden fees.
Thousands of people have already used OnlineDivorce.com to obtain a dissolution of marriage in a quick and affordable way. Filing for divorce in Contra Costa County can be easier than you could ever imagine.
Commitment to customers
Our tools have helped over 500,000 people get a quick and stress-free divorce while saving money in the process.
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If the court doesn’t approve the forms, we refund the customer's money.
We offer the best (no hidden charges) price on the internet
Our tools have helped complete over 500,000 cases
Simple guided online process
Our easy-to-follow instructions walk the client through the process
Clients save at least $1,700 on lawyer fees
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Our dedicated customer care team provides instruction throughout the process
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Handling divorce papers online has never been more convenient
Check if you qualify for an online divorce in Contra Costa County, CA
Get your ready-to-file Contra Costa County, CA divorce paperwork
Valid grounds to get divorce in Contra Costa County
When filing for divorce in Contra Costa County, California, the spouse who initiates the case has to fill out a Petition for divorce. This document must contain an official ground for dissolution of the marriage, chosen among those provided by the Family Law of the state.
Permanent legal incapacity to make decisions (also known as "Incurable Insanity"). This ground must be proven by competent medical or psychiatric testimony.
Irreconcilable differences, which have caused the irremediable breakdown of the marriage.
Since California is a no-fault state, irreconcilable differences cover the rest of the reasons and problems leading to the separation, and neither spouse needs to prove the other's fault before the court.
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Uncontested Contra Costa County divorce with children
Save more time for your children - complete your divorce papers online
Property division in Contra Costa County
Typically, in Contra Costa County, the property is divided in a divorce the way the parties agree. If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, the property is divided equally by the Superior Court within the Judgment of Divorce.
Following the California Family Code, Sec. 2581, the courts presume that any property jointly acquired by the couple during the marriage is community (marital) property unless the following is provided:
A clear statement in the deed or other documentary evidence of title by which the property is acquired that the property is separate property.
Proof that the parties have made a written agreement that the property is separate property.
Additionally, the court has the latitude to give one spouse an asset of the community estate to effect an equal division of the marital estate. The court does not consider marital fault, but in the case of financial infidelity or misconduct, the court may also award, from one spouse's share, an amount the one spouse deliberately misappropriated to the detriment of the other party.
Separate property is not subject to division in a dissolution in Contra Costa County and within the state of California as a whole. Separate property includes all of the following:
All property owned by the person before marriage.
All property acquired by the person after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent.
Any rents, issues, and profits of the property mentioned above.
Mediation support in Contra Costa County
Mediation is an alternative dispute resolution which implies that the spouses work jointly under the guidance of an impartial mediator. The goal of mediation is to try to reach an agreement on the essential terms of the dissolution and create a stipulation or a parenting agreement.
In California divorce, mediation sessions can be requested by the spouses voluntarily or ordered by the court. For example, if the couple has a minor child, but they cannot agree on a parenting plan, they will be required to participate in divorce mediation (Family Code, Sec. 3170).
Additionally, judges may order parenting classes. Parents must take the type of course – in-person, online, or video – as is requested by the court.
How to file for divorce in Contra Costa County | Step-by-Step
The couple has to meet residency requirements to obtain a divorce in Contra Costa County, California. According to the California Family Code, Sec. 2320, at least one of the spouses must have resided in California for at least six months and lived within the Contra Costa County where the proceeding will be filed for the last three months.
In Contra Costa County California, divorce, legal separation, and annulment cases are handled by Family Courts of Superior Court. These courts also hear related matters like child custody and support, alimony, property distribution, etc.
The plaintiff (petitioner) has to collect and prepare the required forms, fill out the divorce papers, and file a Petition for Divorce with the court clerk's office.
The petitioner should make at least two copies of all the forms. One copy will be for him or her and the other copy will be for the other spouse (called a defendant or respondent in a case). The original forms stay with the court.
The plaintiff must deliver copies of documents to the defendant. However, there are specific rules on how to serve divorce papers in Contra Costa County, CA. Any adult person who is not involved in the case qualifies to serve the summons via certified mail or in person. This option is the most comfortable and cheap. Another option is to hire a county sheriff or professional process server. The process of serving divorce papers in Contra Costa County must be confirmed by a signed Proof of Service of Summons form. This form must be filed with the court by the server.
Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney
fees resulting in unforeseen expenditures. Lengthy and expensive option.
Attorney availability impacts completion time
Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal costs
Potential court battles add to the already high-stress levels
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Ready-to-file divorce documents can be completed at your own pace with easy access for both spouses
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Other Online Divorce Services
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Filing fees for divorce in Contra Costa County
When the plaintiff applies for divorce, he or she is obliged to pay a court filing fee. The average initial filing fee is $435, but the exact amount of the filing fee, for each individual case, also depends on what additional court services are used.
Although the cost of divorce varies based on numerous factors, the court filing fee is a mandatory expense for all.
A person who cannot afford the filings fees may apply to have the fee waived by filling out and submitting a Fee Waiver form.
How long will it take?
The question of how long does it take to get a divorce in Contra Costa County, CA, is quite tricky to answer since the time needed to finalize a divorce depends on the circumstances of each individual case. Nevertheless, if both parties agree on all issues, the divorce process is usually fast and easy.
In an uncontested divorce, one date is strict and clear. The state of California has a mandatory waiting period. According to Family Code, Sec. 2339, the length of the divorce process cannot be less than six months from the date of service of a copy of summons and Petition or the date of appearance of the respondent, whichever occurs first.
Contested divorces are typically much longer than no-contest cases. Using an attorney and going through litigation are major factors that can significantly increase the length of the divorce proceeding.
DIY-divorce is often the fastest way to get a divorce in Contra Costa County, especially if the marriage was short and the spouses do not have minor children or marital property disputes. However, filing for divorce in Contra Costa County by yourself may be very complicated if the spouses need to fill out a lot of forms and review lots of documents.
Each divorce case is unique, so it is impossible to predict how long a divorce will take.
Filing for divorce in Contra Costa County | Frequently Asked Questions
How much does a divorce cost in Contra Costa County?
The cost of any dissolution in Contra Costa County starts with a court filing fee, which is charged at the time of filing for divorce.
All the other possible expenses vary greatly depending on whether the case is contested and whether the spouses use the assistance of professionals such as lawyers, counselors, mediators, financial experts, or other specialists.
In an uncontested divorce case where the only issue the couple has to resolve is the paperwork, the cost may be limited to the cost associated with any service used to assist with the paperwork (like OnlineDivorce.com) and the court filing fee.
How do you file for divorce in Contra Costa County without a lawyer?
Filing for divorce without a lawyer is a viable and entirely legal option, especially in an uncontested case. Contra Costa County courts provide self-help guidelines for spouses who want to proceed on their own. Each county in California has a location for Self-Help and Family Law Facilitators. And for those who want to save time and effort, there is OnlineDivorce.com, which allows you to resolve all the paperwork issues without leaving home.
What forms are required for an uncontested divorce in Contra Costa County?
The divorce forms required to be filed to start a divorce process in California include:
Petition — Marriage/Domestic Partnership
Summons (Family Law)
Proof of Service of Summons (Family Law — Uniform Parentage — Custody and Support)
Property Declaration (Family Law)
If the spouses have minor children, the following forms must be filed along with the Petition:
Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA)
Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time) Application Attachment
In the process of divorce, many additional legal forms may be required, depending on the case circumstances.
Can I file for legal separation in Contra Costa County, California?
The answer is yes. Legal separation is another way to terminate the marriage. It implies that the spouses divide their rights and liabilities just like in a divorce process, but remain legally married. A legally separated couple is not eligible to remarry or enter into a new domestic partnership.
Legal separation in California is very similar to divorce. The spouses are required to fill out similar forms and resolve the same issues as in a divorce (property division, custody of a child, alimony).
Legal separation may be transformed into divorce whenever desired by one of the spouses, even without the consent of the other partner.
When is it allowed to remarry after a divorce?
Either spouse is allowed to remarry after the court issues a Final Divorce Decree. California Family Law does not have a mandatory waiting period or any other restrictions for the remarriage of newly divorced people. However, a copy of the court order may be needed in some cases to obtain a new marriage license.
Divorce in Contra Costa County online
Get your completed divorce forms and save thousands in legal fees
Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:
We provide the full divorce packet required by the local court - clients do not need to drive to their local courthouse to get the blank forms or search for the right divorce forms online. In rare cases, local county forms can vary in color, paper material, size, or bar code, so they may need to be obtained directly from the county clerk's office.
We complete the necessary forms for clients based on their answers given in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to understand family law or read through complicated instructions to figure out how to fill out the forms themselves.
We give detailed, easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so the client knows exactly what to do to get his/her divorce finalized.
We provide unlimited technical support - if a client needs assistance through the online process, he/she can always reach out to us via phone, email, or live chat, and we'll do our best to help.
We save our clients time and money - if divorcing spouses agree regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and don't need to spend hours trying to do it all by themselves.
We guarantee 100% court approval on divorce papers prepared through our website or your money back - we have 21 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents without issues.
With a contested divorce, spouses will have to go through numerous steps before the divorce is finalized, including:
prepare, file, and serve (deliver) the divorce petition
respond to the petition
interview and hire an attorney
pre-trial legal motions and hearings
settlement proposals and negotiations between attorneys
if settlement fails, prepare for and complete a court trial
appeal, if you dispute the trial judge’s decision(s)
Prepare to pay exorbitant attorney's fees - at least $2000-3000 depending on your case’s complexity.
Hourly rates vary with different attorneys and average $250-300 per hour. In rural areas, attorneys
may charge less. However, if you live in a large city, local attorneys may charge up to $1000 per hour.
At first glance, using such sites may look like an easy way to go, but it may turn into additional
headaches for you. Some of the issues you may experience when dealing with basic online divorce
long processing times - do you like waiting?
inexperienced and poorly-trained customer support
not user-friendly technology
lack of guidance during the process
hidden fees, e.g., for any, even the simplest, revisions
outdated divorce forms causing court rejection
Did you know that some online divorce providers have virtual addresses in the US because they are
based in other countries? No wonder some clients are provided with outdated divorce forms that will
be rejected by the court. The result? Those people lose their time and money because these
unprofessional services do not keep their state forms up-to-date.
Beware of fake reviews: with no experience and lack of quality service, some sites post reviews by non-existent "customers".
Want to avoid the risk of using Basic Online Divorce Tools?