A dissolution of marriage or domestic partnership is the process of ending a marital or domestic partnership relationship between two people.
There are 3 main ways to end a marriage or registered domestic partnership in California: divorce, legal separation, and annulment. It is not necessary for both spouses or domestic partners to agree to end the marriage. Either spouse or partner can decide to end the marriage, and the other spouse/partner, even if he or she does not want to get a divorce, cannot stop the process by refusing to participate in the case. If a spouse or domestic partner does not participate in the divorce case, the other spouse/partner will still be able to get a 'default' judgment and the divorce will go through.
California is a 'no fault' divorce state, which means that the spouse or domestic partner that is asking for the divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse or domestic partner did something wrong. To get a no fault divorce, one spouse or domestic partner has to state that the couple cannot get along. Legally, this is called 'irreconcilable differences.' (California Courts, 2013)
How a dissolution is finalized is ultimately up to the parties. If appropriate for your circumstances, an uncontested dissolution can save you a significant amount of money as there is no high-cost litigation involved and both parties are in agreement with the final Judgment.
I was initially quoted 10K by a lawyer to handle my divorce. I chose instead to attempt to file my documents myself. When I got stuck and realized I was in way over my head, a friend recommended Central Valley Self-Help, Inc.. Sheree assisted me remotely as I currently reside 2 1/2 hours away. She identified missing documentation that could have delayed my paperwork, served documents for me, and filed them at the court house. She kept me informed of each step along the way. What an awesome experience to get updates on your case while it's in process. I would highly recommend her services. This could have been a nightmare but instead it was an easy and stress free experience. I feel confident my documents were prepared correctly and my interests were protected. The cost was affordable. I don't know anyone divorcing after 25 years who can say that.