Filing for Divorce in San Bernardino

Filing for divorce is a complex and emotionally challenging process. Here’s how to file for divorce in San Bernardino county.

1. Gather Essential Documents

Before initiating the divorce process, you’ll need to gather certain crucial documents. These typically include:

  • Marriage certificate: This document proves that you and your spouse are legally married.
  • Financial records: Collect financial documents such as bank statements, tax returns, property deeds, and information about assets and liabilities.
  • Child-related documents: If you have children, gather their birth certificates, school records, and any custody or support agreements.

2. Determine the Grounds for Divorce

In San Bernardino County, you can file for divorce based on either “no-fault” or “fault” grounds. No-fault divorce is the most common and refers to the irreconcilable differences between you and your spouse. Fault grounds include abandonment, adultery, cruelty, and more. Consult with a family law attorney to determine which grounds are applicable in your situation.

3. Meet California Residency Requirements

To file for divorce in San Bernardino County, you or your spouse must meet the California residency requirements. At least one of you must have been a resident of California for the past six months, and a resident of San Bernardino County for the past three months.

4. File the Divorce Petition

The divorce process begins with filing a divorce petition with the San Bernardino Superior Court. You can obtain the necessary forms online or from the courthouse. Ensure you complete the forms accurately and include all required information. If you’re unsure about the paperwork, consult an attorney or a legal document preparation service to assist you.

5. Serve Divorce Papers to Your Spouse

Once you’ve filed the divorce petition, you must serve a copy to your spouse. This can be done through personal service by a process server or a qualified adult who is not involved in the case. Alternatively, your spouse can voluntarily accept service by signing an acknowledgment of receipt.

6. Responding to the Divorce Petition

After being served with divorce papers, your spouse has 30 days to file a response. If your spouse fails to respond within the specified timeframe, you may request a default judgment from the court.

7. Disclose Financial Information

Both you and your spouse are required to disclose all financial information honestly. This includes assets, debts, income, expenses, and other relevant financial details. Failing to provide accurate information may have serious legal consequences.

8. Negotiate a Settlement or Prepare for Trial

In many cases, couples can reach a settlement agreement through negotiation or alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation. If an agreement is reached, it should be put in writing and submitted to the court for approval. If no settlement is reached, the divorce case will proceed to trial, where a judge will make decisions on contested issues.

9. Finalize the Divorce

Once all issues are resolved, either through settlement or trial, the divorce must be finalized. The final judgment will be issued by the court, detailing the terms of the divorce, including property division, child custody, support, and any other relevant matters.

Contact Her Lawyer

If you’re looking to file for divorce in San Bernardino, contact us. We’ll get you in touch with the most qualified attorney for your unique legal situation. We’re here to help 24/7.