How to File a Form FL-100 for a California Uncontested Divorce

By Ronna L. DeLoe, Esq.

How to File a Form FL-100 for a California Uncontested Divorce

By Ronna L. DeLoe, Esq.

Using California's court forms can help you get a do-it-yourself divorce without having to hire an attorney. For an uncontested divorce, start by completing Petition—Marriage/Domestic Partnership (Form FL-100).

A California Uncontested Divorce

In California, divorce is defined as a "dissolution of marriage." An uncontested divorce is where you and your spouse have already come to an agreement on major issues such as property settlement, spousal support, child support, child custody, splitting the debt, parenting time, and any other matters that are critical to you as a couple.

When filing for an uncontested divorce in California, use Form FL-100. You will also need to file other forms, such as those related to child custody and property.

Make sure you or your spouse meet the requirements for filing for dissolution of marriage in California. One of you needs to have been a state resident for at least six months before filing FL-100, which should be done in the superior court of the county where one spouse has lived for at least three months.

Completing Form FL-100

Here are the different sections that need to be filled, with some information on questions that might require additional background:

1. Legal relationship. Check all boxes that apply. Most couples check the first box, which states that they're married.

2. Residency requirements. Check all boxes that apply.

3. Statistical facts. List the marriage date, separation date, and the length of time from the marriage date to the separation date. You don't need a court separation, so pick a date that represents when you and your spouse split up or declared that the marriage was over.

4. Minor children. Check 4b if you have minor children and provide the requested information about each one. If there are minor children, you must also complete Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) (Form FL-105). If there's a signed voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, it's best to attach it.

5. Legal grounds for divorce. If you want a no-fault divorce, most people check 5a (divorce) and 1 (irreconcilable differences). The only other ground for divorce is that the other spouse doesn't have the legal capacity to make decisions, but you must prove the circumstances are permanent if you check it.

6. Child custody and visitation. If you don't have children, leave this blank. If you have children, many judges award joint legal custody under part a, and sometimes joint physical custody under part b. Joint physical custody isn't usually in the children's best interest; rather, it's usually best for one parent to have primary physical custody, so the children aren't shuttled back and forth.

You should also file Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time) Application Attachment (Form FL-311). If you're afraid your spouse might take your children without returning them, file Request for Child Abduction Prevention Orders (Form FL-312).

Other child-related forms you should file include Children's Holiday Schedule Attachment (Form FL-341(C)), Additional Provisions—Physical Custody Attachment (Form FL-341(D)), and Joint Legal Custody Attachment (Form FL-341(E)). Together, these three forms establish comprehensive custody and visitation rights between you and your spouse, as FL-311 usually isn't enough.

7. Child support. If you can't agree upon the amount of child support, the court will decide it. The parties can't waive child support, so there's usually nothing to fill in here.

8. Spousal support. If you can't decide who's getting spousal support or in what amount, check 8c and decide later. Otherwise, check 8a and check who is receiving spousal support. If there's already an order awarding spousal support and you want it to end, check 8b and which party has the order.

9. Separate property. If you believe you and your spouse cannot come to a fair agreement about your property, check 9b and file Property Declaration (Form FL-160) to list your separate and your community property.

10. Community Property. Check 10b if there's community property. If you decided in the previous section that you don't need Form FL-160, check the last box and state how you'll be arriving at an agreement.

11. Other requests. You're not seeking legal fees because you don't have an attorney. Check 11b if you want to change your name back to a former name, and check 11c if you have any other requests of the court.

12. You agree that you've read any restraining orders on the back of the summons. Date, print, and sign on the top line.

Additional Requirements

File Summons (Form FL-110) and FL-100 and pay the filing fee. Request a fee waiver if you can't afford it.

Make copies of every form so that you and the court have a copy, and so there's a copy to serve. You must arrange for someone other than you to serve your spouse a blank Response—Marriage/Domestic Partnership (Form FL-120).

There are many forms you might need, even when filing an uncontested divorce. If you're not sure which ones you need or how to prepare them, consult a family attorney, or use an online legal service.

This portion of the site is for informational purposes only. The content is not legal advice. The statements and opinions are the expression of author, not LegalZoom, and have not been evaluated by LegalZoom for accuracy, completeness, or changes in the law.