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Pasadena Mediation Center |How to Finalize Your Divorce Case

Often couples prepare and submit their own marital dissolution judgments and other paperwork and become frustrated when the court clerk rejects their judgment or other documents. There are many requirements as to which documents must be completed, filed and served. For instance, if the Petition is not filled out, filed and served properly, then the Petition may need to be amended or re-served. It’s frustrating when a spouse receives the judgment back from court because the Petition wasn’t filled out properly.


In addition, financial disclosure forms must be filled out and exchanged properly or the judgment is usually rejected. Many spouses don’t realize that “property” means things like bank accounts, cars, credit card accounts, etc. these things must be disclosed regardless of whether both spouses have knowledge of them. If the judgment slips through the court process when the financial disclosures were improperly completed then the judgment signed by the judge could potentially be “set aside” and the Judgment process starts over again. Or omitted assets could be up for grabs after the divorce is finalized. These documents are also needed to complete the community property division and separate property sections of the judgment.


For couples who have submitted the judgment and had it rejected (sometimes numerous rejections) attorneys can help cure the errors so the judge can sign the judgment. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get experienced, top notch help. The cost depends on what needs to be done to fix the paperwork. It can cost anywhere from $600-$3,000 to fix paperwork that was not done correctly – more if it is a complex case. Bring your paperwork into an experienced family law attorney who does this paperwork day in and day out to ensure a smooth process. Couples don’t even have to go to the courthouse to file their documents if they don’t want to – the attorney can have that done for the couple.


It’s always best to have an experienced attorney help with the document process from beginning to end. Again, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to get top notch help with document preparation. If both spouses agree to cooperate in the process and agree to all of the settlement provisions, it can cost as little as $2,500 for all of the paperwork for both spouses, including the judgment for a simple divorce. This does not include the $435 filing fees that each spouse pays to the courthouse to file the Petition and Response. Nor does this include legal advice. It includes an experienced, family law attorney properly filling out and processing the paperwork needed to get a divorce completed. Of course, the cost is much higher if the case is a bit complex, has a lot of detailed child custody provisions, needs child support to be calculated, or there are a lot of revisions requested. It can also cost more if there are a lot of detailed questions, as most family law attorneys charge by the hour.