The State of California is a purely no-fault divorce state, meaning the court will not assign fault to either party for the divorce. California uses irreconcilable differences (the two parties no longer get along) as its single grounds for divorce. Issues such as adultery or abuse do not matter for the purposes of the divorce itself, though they may in regards to child custody, for example.

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Fill out your forms

When filing for a no-fault divorce, you'll need to complete various forms. Some forms must be completed by all people filing for no-fault divorce in California:

  • Petition-Marriage Form: Some people may run out of space to declare property on the Petition.  If you need more room, you can use the Property Declaration form to list shared or separate properties and debts. For help completing this form, read the instructions. 
  • Summons Form: This form allows you to tell your spouse that you have started a court case, and the repercussions of him or her not responding within thirty days. 
  • Divorce Settlement Agreement: This form is used to clarify with the court that the parties are in agreement regarding the divorce and have reached a settlement regarding how their marital assets should be divided. A Divorce Settlement Agreement should be filed if the parties agree about all issues involved in their divorce and they do not wish to proceed with a lengthy trial.

Additional Forms for Couples with Children:


Find Out if You Need to Fill Out a Local Form


You may have to fill out a local form, depending on your court. If this is the case, get in touch with your county clerk's office, a family law facilitator, or use RocketLawyer.com to find a divorce lawyer and ask about your county's forms.

Make Copies of your Forms

Once you have filled out the appropriate forms, make at least three copies of each. One set will be served to your spouse, and two should be kept for your records.

Bring your Completed Forms to your Court Clerk's Office and Pay the Fee

Proceed to your court clerk's office with the originals and copies of your forms. If everything is in order, the clerk will use the original forms and ask you to pay a fee to file. You can also ask for a waiver for the fees if you cannot afford to pay them.

If your spouse lives in another state or country, make sure to consult a lawyer before filing.

Get started Visit our Divorce Center Get divorce documents and ask a lawyer your questions.

Get started Visit our Divorce Center Get divorce documents and ask a lawyer your questions.