Divorce Document Preparation – Divorce Legal Document Assistants (Paralegal Services)

The divorce process can be an emotionally traumatic event.  While terminating the marriage, decisions about custody, support, and the division of assets and debts will be addressed.  If you want to go through this process as easily as possible, without seeing the inside of a courtroom, without wasting thousands of dollars, without stirring up negative emotions, we can help you. We have been preparing divorce documents for self-represented parties since 1996. While the majority of the divorce documents we prepare are for Riverside and San Bernardino County courts, we can often also help if you have a case outside of these counties.

Lucy Pantera‎

Annette and Joel were very friendly and professional. They took the time to listened to all my needs and were very detailed in explaining every document to me. They had my documents ready within a few days. I would highly recommend them.

Divorce – The Process in California Family Law Courts

All cases start with the filing of a petition at the family law court. Along with or after the Petition filed and given to the other party, disclosures (information regarding income, expenses, assets and debts) are prepared and exchanged. Once the 30 day waiting period after a petition is served has been met, and any court ordered mediation and hearings (if these were requested) have concluded, the parties can move forward to terminate the marriage. There are different processes to obtain a judgment for a divorce depending on if the case proceeds by default or as a contested case.

Divorce by Default: The default process refers to a divorce case where the Petitioner has filed and served the divorce petition and disclosures, but the other party does not file a written response. This could be either because the Respondent is not contesting, or if the parties are planning to finish the case with an agreement, either a Stipulated Judgment or a Martial Settlement Agreement.

Without agreement – The Petitioner can move forward to finalize the divorce with the judgment documents. They are prepared and submitted to the court. The information and orders requested must not conflict with what was previously stated to the court or with state guidelines.

With agreement – Along with the required documents for a divorce without an agreement, additional documents will be required which include the agreement. The signature of the Respondent will need to be notarized. The issues of child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support and the division of assets and debts do not have to follow state guidelines and will become orders of the court.

Divorce as a Contested Case: A divorce case becomes a contested case if and when the Respondent files a written response with the court. The response needs to be given to the other party. Disclosures will also need to be given to the Petitioner before the case can be finalized. These cases can be changed to an uncontested matter if both parties are willing to cooperate and settle their issues with an agreement.

If the contested case cannot be settled with an agreement, one of the parties needs to set up a conference though the court. If the parties still cannot settle, a trial will be set. When the parties cannot agree, the court will make the decisions based on state guidelines. After the orders are made, a divorce judgment that reflects the findings and orders of the court will need to be filed.

After the final divorce judgment is submitted to the court clerk, an examiner will review everything to make sure all required documents, attachments, and signatures are complete and have been handled correctly.  Then the file is forwarded to the Judge assigned to the case for final approval and signature before being filed. From there the court will mail a copy of the judgment to each party.

The marriage terminates 6 months and 1 day after the responding party is served or when the final judgment is filed, whichever occurs last. So in situations where the parties move forward by default, with or without an agreement, they can have their final divorce judgment in their hands within months of starting the process. They will then wait for the pre-designated day for the marriage to terminate.

When the process is contested, the 6 month and 1 day date typically passes while the parties are still working to settle the issues before moving towards a judgment. This process can take months, sometimes years after the petition is filed, if the parties will not resolve the issues and settle.

Regina Glover

I was afraid when I arrived. But after my meeting w/Gomez. I left feeling relieved. Realizing they're people in this world that actually care. Thank you for your time. Signed Regina Arnwine aka Regina Glover.

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‎Julio SO Cal‎

Annette & Joel were so helpful with my divorce. My divorce was complete 6 months 1 day from the day that I first steped in to the office. I met with Annette two times and with Joel one time and that was it. I now use J.D. Prep for my business. I recommend Just Doc Prep to everyone who needs help with legal paperwork.

How We Can Help With Your Divorce Document Preparation

We are bonded and registered legal document assistants. We are authorized to prepare divorce documents in family law courts in California. Since we are paid a flat fee, our goal is to get you from start to finish as quickly and efficiently as possible, while providing the highest level of service. We help with the following:

Preparing your Divorce Documents: We start the divorce petition with your requests and include the preliminary disclosures. In most cases we will file your documents with the appropriate family law court.

Required Process Serve: Divorce cases require that the filed documents are served on the Respondent. The manner in which the documents are served must follow the California Code of Civil Procedure. If the parties are working cooperatively, we can complete the service of the filed documents by mail and file a proof of service at the court.

Checking Case File for Responses: The next phase of the divorce process will depend on if the Respondent files a response or not. At the appropriate time, we check with the court to determine whether or not your divorce case is contested.

Status of Final Judgment: If we prepare the final judgment documents for you, regardless of if the case is proceeding by default, with an agreement, or wrapping up after a hearing, we will continue to monitor the case with the court to ensure it is moving through the court system as expected. In some cases the court will require adjustments or additions to the file before the Judge will sign. The court classifies these as “rejections”, but it is simply a request for adjustments. Don’t worry, our flat fee includes any requests for additional documents or adjustments on submitted ones.

I have Already Started My Divorce Case – Can You Help Me Finish?

Much on the divorce document preparation we do is for people who have started their case either by themselves, or with another service or attorney. There are many reasons that people look for a reputable service like ours to help them finish. Common reasons include: no time or experience to figure out how to complete the remaining documents, frustration after the court continues to reject the documents for various reasons, the case is no longer contested and the parties want to pay a flat rate for the final documents.

No matter the reason, we can quickly identify where in the process you are, and what the court requires to get you a final judgment signed by the Judge. We will quote you a flat rate for our complete service and can begin work on finalizing your divorce documents immediately.

Why Choose Us for Your Divorce Document Preparation?

Start to Finish, As Quickly as Procedurally Possible: From start to finish, we’ll prepare, and file the divorce documents, then guide you through the legal process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Since 1996 our goal has been to help self-represented parties get through the process as quickly as possible, without surprises. Since then we have accumulated hundreds of 5 star reviews for our service, which you can see here: Client Testimonials.

Affordable, Flat Fee, No Surprises: Before we even start your divorce documents, we provide you a flat price and explain our entire service. There are no additional costs or surprises. What we quote is what you will pay, period.

A Reputation you can Trust: Since 1996 we have satisfied clients from near and far. Across dozens of review websites such as Google, Yahoo, Yelp and more, we have hundreds of 5 star reviews for our divorce document preparation service. Our goal is to continue to provide this high level of service to each and every client.

Abraham Zamora

Very happy with the service. I tried doing my divorce on my own and wasted 6 months of my life and two trips to the court. I wish I would have used them from the beginning. It would have saved me a lot of time and frustration. In a matter of a few days they set everything up and that was it. Thank you guys for all your help, well worth the investment if you value your time.

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Frequently Asked Question – Divorce Document Preparation

What is a Legal Document Assistant compared to a Paralegal? – While most of the public refers to our industry as “Paralegals”, officially we are known as Legal Document Assistants. Paralegals are employees of attorneys and they are not legally authorized to provide self-help services to the public.  Legal Document Assistants are required to be bonded and registered, as well as complete continuing education and more, to be able to be legally authorized to provide these services to the public. We must re-register every two years, so the County Clerk is regularly confirming our ability to meet their requirements to be bonded and registered as Legal Document Assistants.

How long does the divorce process take? – The divorce process can vary from case to case, but the soonest a person in California can be returned to single status is 6 months and one day from the date the respondent is served with a petition. Divorce parties who move forward by way of default or by agreement can often have their final documents well before that without ever going to court. Contested cases often take longer and can drag on for months or years depending on the complexity of the case.

Is the process faster if I use an attorney? – Our goal is to get you your final divorce judgment as soon as possible. At every step of the process we are ready to move you to the next phase. Procedurally, the process and timeline is the same regardless of if you complete your divorce documents yourself, use a Legal Document Assistant, or an attorney.

What can an attorney do that you cannot? – Legal Document Assistants are not authorized to practice law. We cannot represent you in court and we cannot give you legal advice. These are things only an attorney can do. Be aware of any non-attorney who says they can help in these aspects because it is illegal for them to do so. We are authorized to complete divorce documents for the court, and we do it affordably and at the highest quality.

My case is already open. Can you finish it for me? – Since 1996 we have helped people who have started their own cases, people who used another service, or even started with an attorney. The court forms are the same for everyone in California, so no matter who started your divorce case, we can likely finish it for you.

What if my case changes direction…it’s contested, or the other party won’t sign an agreement? – In some situations a divorce may start as an agreement, or be expected to finish without the other party contesting it, but then that changes. If you choose, you can hire an attorney at any point in the process. Otherwise you can represent yourself. You can hire an attorney for legal advice, you can agree to private mediation. The documents that have already been filed are still valid and on file with the court, which means you can pick up where we left off and move forward.

What is your experience with divorce document preparation? – We started providing divorce document preparation in 1996. Since then we have helped thousands of people in all aspects of legal document preparation. Family law documents make up the largest portion of what we do. We have more experience than most other businesses offering these types of services. More than half our business comes to us in the form of referrals from satisfied clients.

Vilma S.

Joel and Annette at Just Document Preparation are fantastic! They are extremely knowledgeable, compassionate, and efficient. They helped me with my divorce last year, and now I am hiring them again for a different service-- nothing speaks to quality like repeat customers! When I decided to file for divorce, at first I did a consultation with a lawyer, and was quoted some $5000 to file with the lawyer, which would have likely resulted in even more contention and pain between my ex-husband and I. I AM SO GLAD I went with Just Documents Preparation instead, it was so much more affordable, quick, and painless. You just go in with your information and documents, they do all the work, can answer any questions you have about the process, and leave you feeling reassured that you are in good hands! Even after everything was complete, I needed help with returning to my maiden name and Joel kindly assisted me with getting the required documents for no charge. I would definitely recommend them for any legal document preparation. They are highly experienced and will help you with any and all parts of the process, leaving you to heal and move on with your life without worrying about the details of your legal process. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

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