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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 of forms or your particular legal rights, remedies or options. OnlineDivorce.com is a website that provides access to self-guided online questionnaires. Online Divorce does not sell blank forms. You may be able to download blank forms from a government website depending on your state.

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Online Divorce in California

divorce in California

For those seeking an inexpensive divorce in the state of California, online divorce can be an easy, affordable and fast solution. Online divorces may be appropriate for couples who have an uncontested case. The step-by-step process of preparing divorce documents at OnlineDivorce.com makes it easy on the client. The site helps prepare all the necessary divorce forms and provides detailed written instructions on how to file for divorce in California.

Our divorce document preparation service can assist those who want their divorce papers completed in a quick and stress-free fashion. California has unique divorce forms and filing requirements, and our online system provides exactly what is necessary and applicable, with instructions on how to file. We have helped thousands of people prepare their divorce documents for filing.

If the two spouses have an amicable agreement on the terms of the divorce, why should the process get drawn out, and why should money be spent on lawyers? Online divorces are often cheaper, quicker and easier.

Online divorce is often a great option for those who want to save money or hope to have the divorce quickly finalized and return to normal life. An increasing number of people are preparing documents for divorce online because it can be done in the comfort of one’s own home. Even for complex cases that involve children, property or other assets, the online route is possible. Clients first fill out a simple questionnaire and are given instructions at each step of the way.

The process at OnlineDivorce.com is 100% secure. We protect the client’s information and nothing gets filed until the client personally submits the divorce papers to a court. Filing for divorce in California with OnlineDivorce.com can be a simple solution to a difficult situation.


OnlineDivorce.com begins the divorce process by presenting a simple online questionnaire. It can be filled out alone or with the assistance of a spouse. A signature from the other spouse must be obtained, after which the divorce forms may be filed at local court. In California, this is typically done at the courthouse in the county where the client currently resides. If the petitioner is not currently a resident, but the defendant is, divorce is typically filed in the county where the defendant resides.

The actual filing process is explained in our detailed court-filing instructions that we provide along with the completed divorce forms. Clients can also obtain assistance from their local courthouse by calling or stopping by.

If there are any issues with the documents after the initial filing, clients may need to follow up. OnlineDivorce.com helps the client make small adjustments to their forms, as requested by the court, at no additional charge. The goal of the service is always to minimize stress and hassle.


Every state has specific requirements where divorcing couples must establish residency within the state they are divorcing. California is no exception. If you wish to file for divorce in California, one or the other spouse must live in the state with proven residency for at least six months before filing. The filing spouse must have lived in the county he or she plans to file in for at least three months before filing as well.

There are many ways to prove that residency has been established. The easiest way is if one or both spouses have a valid and in-date California driver’s license, ID card or voter’s registration card which was issued at least six months before filing for divorce. If this is not the case, it may be possible to establish residency, by having someone who knows you or your spouse testify that you have lived in the state for at least six months. Additionally, it may be possible to use an Affidavit of Corroborating Witness form, and it should serve as proof you’ve lived in the state a minimum of six months.

You may also have to prove residency in the county in which you file your divorce paperwork once you have it completed. More information on this will be available as you work through the divorce process.

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Valid grounds to get divorce in California

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Grounds for an online divorce using OnlineDivorce.com are the same as they would be for any divorce within the State of California. Grounds are merely the reason for divorce, and the state must approve them.


No-fault grounds for divorce in California include:


Irreconcilable differences causing an irremediable breakdown of the marriage [Annotated California Code; Section 2310]. Irreconcilable differences are not normally required to be proven, but the court can require it in specific cases.

The general or fault-related reasons for divorce include, (but are not limited to):


Incurable insanity: For incurable insanity to be established, there must be documentation in places as from a doctor or hospital which declares that the situation isn’t likely to be resolved.

OnlineDivorce reviews

Wesley H., Missouri

I started my divorce on my own, spending loads of money on lawyer visits in the beginning. So I decided to google for other ways and using this site was so much more simple!

James V., Texas

I had a very successful business at the time. So, making sure I had the right forms was very very important during my divorce. I was so surprised at how easy and smooth this process was.

Chloe J., Florida

After years of a tumultuous marriage, I finally decided that I needed to reclaim my life. I was looking for how to go about it and came across this site and they simplified and made the process of divorce easy for me. I never thought it would’ve been possible.

Will S., Colorado

Stress-free and easy! I was initially gonna hire a lawyer but I found online divorce the next best option. No muss, no fuss divorce. No big legal words that I’d have to have read 10 times to understand!

Marco P., California

California is expensive and divorce can be even more expensive in the end but I can say that this site payed everything out for me to follow, from child support to alimony. My ex agreed to go this way as well so it was a much less expensive option for us.

Tamara B., Nevada

Because of the whole dissolution of the marriage, I was struggling with two children and just in limbo with my husband at the time because of child support and alimony. I was a stay-at-home mom for 10 years. I just want to say that this site helped me sort it out. Thank you.

Theresa S., New York

I live in upstate NY and unfortunately one day I found myself in a situation for divorce. I was all out of whack, needed answers to take action. Enough was enough so I did it on this site. Everything was clear to understand, all forms and what to put in which box.

Livy B., Illinois

Onlinedivorce.com is the bomb! I mean, using it was so easy to follow. So, if you find yourself in this situation do your divorce here if possible. Documents for all stages, alimony, child support and all!

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Custody of the child in California

Custody of the child

The California state courts are in charge of granting the custody of the children upon divorce. Child custody can be granted to either parent on the following grounds.

  • Best interests of the child - This is always the number one priority of the courts.
  • The preference of the child - When the child is old enough and mature enough, the preferences of the child will be considered.
  • The desire and capability of the parents to allow an open, loving, and frequent relationship between the other parent and the child.
  • The welfare, health, and safety of the child in either home.
  • Any history of abuse by a parent or anyone living in the home of either of the parents.
  • The amount and type of contact which has occurred in the past with both parents.
  • The use of controlled substances or continual or habitual abuse of alcohol by either parent.

Rules for child support in California

Child support guidelines in California are based on the Income Shares Model for fairly deciding child support. The amount of monthly support is determined by applying the guidelines in fair proportion based on the income of each parent. Then, the two support amounts are compared to establish which parent will pay the other parent the child support. Income is collected from past W-2's and child support worksheets which are available at the clerk's office.

In applying the statewide uniform guideline, the courts abide by these following principles:

  • A parent's obligation is to provide for his or her minor children, in accordance to the parent's circumstances.
  • The responsibility for the support of children belongs to both parents.
  • The guideline considers both parent's actual level of responsibility for the children and income into account.
  • Each parent should pay their fair share to support the child or children.
  • The guideline places the interests of children as the primary priority of the state.
  • Children should share in both parents' standards of living. As a result, child support may therefore appropriately improve the children's lives due to the improvement in the standard of living within the custodial house.
  • In situations in which both parents are responsible for the children, these factors should minimize inequalities in the children's living standards and also reflect the expenses incurred as a result of raising the children in two homes.
  • The needs of the children should be settled through private financial resources when at all possible.
  • It is assumed that the parent with primary physical responsibility will contribute a significant amount of the resources available in order to support the children.
  • The guideline attempts to efficiently and equitably reach settlements of conflicts between spouses and tries to reduce the need for litigation as much as possible.
  • Only in rare situations should child support orders fall below the amount dictated by the guideline formula, since the guideline is assumed to be correct in all cases.
  • Child support orders mandate that children get timely, fair, and proper support which should be reflected by California's high costs of child care and equally high standard of living in comparison to other states. (California Code - Sections: 3024, 3622, 4001, 4050)

Uncontested California divorce with children

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Rules for spousal support in California

Rules for spousal support

Alimony, also known as spousal support, is sometimes ordered by the court to help one spouse live in a manner established during marriage after the divorce. Assistance may be decided upon by the couple together before filing or may be awarded by the court in a contested case. The court may award rehabilitative (short-term) or more permanent alimony to either of the spouses in either lump-sum payments or as monthly/yearly payments or both.

In California, spousal support is handled on a case-by-case basis, and spousal support may be temporary, permanent, or not be awarded at all. This is decided by either an agreement between the spouses, or at the court's discretion.

In applying the statewide uniform guideline, the courts will abide by the following principles:

  • The ability of the spouses to maintain the standard of living which was kept during the marriage, taking into account:
  • Any skills the party seeking support has; the likelihood of employment utilizing those skills; the time and expenses required to acquire marketable skills; and the possible need for retraining or education to develop those or other marketable skills; or employment.
  • How the employability of the spouse who seeks support is as it related to time spent unemployed to perform domestic duties.
  • How the supported person contributed to the other spouse’s education, training, career position, or license by the person providing support.
  • The ability of the supporting spouse to provide spousal support, taking into consideration the supporting person's earning ability, unearned and earned income, standard of living, and assets.
  • The needs of both spouses, which were established during the marriage, based on the standard of living.
  • The assets and obligations of both spouses, including the separate property of each individual.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • The ability of the person being supported to find employment that will not unduly interfere with the best interests of the children in the custody of that person.
  • The current health and age of each spouse.
  • Any proof of a history of domestic violence, as defined in Section 6211, between the spouses, including, but not limited to, emotional distress caused by any domestic violence to the supported spouse by the supporting spouse, and any violence committed by the supported spouse on the supporting spouse.
  • The specific and immediate tax consequences to each spouse.
  • The hardships that each spouse.
  • The goal that the person being supported will be self-supporting within a reasonable time period. Except when dealing with a marriage of long duration, as it is described in Section 4336, a "reasonable period of time" is generally defined as one-half the length of the marriage for purposes of this section. However, the court's discretion is not limited in its decision to allow a lesser or greater amount of time based on the factors listed in this section, Section 4336, and the circumstances of the spouses.
  • Any criminal conviction which occurred of an abusive spouse. This will be considered in deciding whether to reduce or eliminate a potential spousal support award.
  • Other circumstances that the court determines are just. (California Code - Sections: 4320, 4324, 4330)

Property division in California

Property division

When a couple chooses to divorce in California, they must split their property in a fair and agreeable manner. Property distribution can be handled independently and without involving the court in an undisputed divorce. In doing this, the couple may make their own decisions regarding how property is distributed as long as it is fair and both members of the couple agrees without being coerced or manipulated in any way.

On the other hand, the court can become involved in a case where a decision is not met independently. If this is the case, there are specific rules that must be followed to assure that the spouses receive their fair share from the marital estate.

As a "Community Property" state, California will divide all property accumulated during the course of the marriage in an equal split if an agreement cannot be reached.

Property gained together after marriage, which is called joint property is presumed to be community property, which affects the burden of proof. This can then be countered by:

  • An obvious statement in the paperwork for that property that declares that the property is solely that of the individual and not community property; or
  • Written proof that the spouses have made an agreement that the property is that of an individual and not community property.

The courts go to great lengths to make the distribution of property as fair and equal as possible, and may take a portion of one person's property to cover the costs of those disparities of the other.

Any debts which were accumulated after the date of separation, but prior to the decision made by the courts regarding the divorce or legal separation are confirmed as such:

  • Debts accumulated through the cost of living for both spouses as well as the needs of any children, without proof stating otherwise, is determined by who is more able to pay the debt at the time in which it was accumulated.
  • Debts accumulated for non-necessities for either spouse, or for any children, will be determined without offsetting any support the court may issue to the spouse who incurred the debt.

Debts acquired after the motion for divorce has been filed, but before a ruling by the courts, will be confirmed without offset to the spouse who acquired the debt. (California Code - Sections: 2501, 2581, 2601, 2602, 2621, 2623, 2625, 2641)

Why us? Review the OnlineDivorce.com difference

Contested Divorce

Average prices start at $2000

Offline and inconvenient process with attorney representation for each spouse. Costly attorney fees resulting in unpredictable expenditures. Overall lenghty and expensive way to go.

  • Attorney availability impacts completion time
  • Each spouse has to hire an attorney, which automatically doubles legal fees
  • Potential court battles adding to already high stress levels

The premier uncontested divorce tool

Fully-guided, fast and affordable process. Experienced and reliable online divorce service using top-notch technology.

  • Ready-to-file divorce documents can be completed at your own pace with easy access for both spouses
  • Award-winning customer support
  • One flat fee (for both spouses) to access all completed documents for filing
  • Free revisions and free name change, no hidden fees
  • Detailed state-specific filing instructions
  • Review all and make changes from the comfort of your own home
Other Online Divorce Services

Average prices start at $300

Other websites for filling out divorce documents use flawed software technologies to complete your divorce documentation.

  • Automated document preparation
  • Processing time varies but may take more than three business days
  • On-demand customer support, quality varies
  • One flat fee claimed, however many sites have hidden fees
  • No experience: many sites started operating just a few years ago

Mediation support in California

If the court there is a chance for reconciliation in a non-contested case, they may require a delay and recommend mediation. Mediation is available in all cases for parties who wish to consider this as an alternative to divorce.

For those seeking to prepare their divorce papers using OnlineDivorce.com, utilizing divorce mediation can be a great tool to smooth out disagreements and prevent the case from going to court. This can be the simplest way to assure a fast, easy and affordable online divorce.

Divorce forms in California

California forms produced by OnlineDivorce.com are court approved divorce forms. We have automated the process of filling them out to simplify matters and avoid any difficulties which may occur with filling out paperwork alone. By utilizing OnlineDivorce.com, clients can simplify the process of preparing divorce documents to help both parties move forward with their lives.

Divorce in California online

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Filing fees for divorce in California

When an individual files divorce papers, the court will charge filing fees that may vary by county. These costs are in addition to the cost of using OnlineDivorce.com. Clients must check with their local courthouse to determine the exact amount.

How long will it take

Use of the OnlineDivorce.com service usually takes between 30 minutes and two hours or more depending on the complexity of the case. Clients start by filling out a questionnaire and can either complete it in one sitting or save their progress and complete it at a later date.

Once the documents have been completed, they need to be filed with the other spouse’s signature. More information regarding the finalization of the divorce case is provided once the paperwork has been completed and submitted to a court.

Here is how OnlineDivorce.com makes completing divorce papers easier:

  • We provide the full divorce packet that is required by a 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, some local forms specific to a filing county can vary in color, paper material, size and / or scanning bar code so they may need to be obtained from the county clerk's office directly.
  • We complete the necessary forms for clients based on the answers they give in a simple guided online interview - clients do not need to read through the legal jargon and try to figure out how to fill out those forms yourself.
  • We give the detailed and easy to follow step-by-step instructions for filing a divorce with the court - so a 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 time and money for our clients - if divorcing spouses are in agreement regarding the terms of their divorce, they typically don’t have to pay thousands to a lawyer to handle their divorce forms and they 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 money back - we have 20 years of experience in completing divorce forms so clients can be sure the court will accept their documents with no issues.