Behind the Scenes: Filing and Serving Your Documents (Get It Done Plan)
Now that you have completed your questions, your forms will be prepared and reviewed by our staff and sent to you via email with instructions within two business days. Once you receive and review these documents, simply sign them and email (or fax them) back to us and we will file them for you with the court. We will send you the “endorsed”* forms once they’re returned from the court.
*When the court receives and files your documents they will stamp the upper right corner and open up a new file for you in their system. Depending on which county you live in, they may give you additional information or requests once these forms are filed.
Why do I have to wait?
In order to complete this step, your SBTX needs to be provided with the forms you filed. Once they are received by the court, we send them directly to your spouse by email.
Once your SBTX receives this email, he or she will need to sign a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt, confirming that they have received the documents. When we receive their signature, we’ll file this form for you and move you on to the next step.
What if my spouse doesn’t sign the Notice?
If your spouse does not sign the Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt, they will need to be personally served. There are individuals and businesses whose sole purpose it is to serve legal documents, but in the State of California you can also have a friend or family member physically hand the documents to your spouse–provided they are a California resident over the age of 18. Unfortunately, the court does not allow you to serve them yourself.**
We will contact your spouse periodically to check in. If we do not receive their signature within 30 days, we will contact you to discuss how to move forward.
**While you can give the documents to your spouse if you want to, this does not qualify as “effective service”, so they’ll need to be delivered another way as well.
Your next step will be to complete your “financial disclosures”: a set of forms that gives your spouse a snapshot of your financial situation, including how much you earn, your expenses and budget, and your property, assets, and debts. These forms are required in all divorces in the State of California, whether or not there’s any disagreement between you and your spouse.
The main purpose of these forms is to make sure that separating couples are fully aware of financial circumstances to make sure that any agreements they might make are fair. Separating finances are a major part of divorce, so this information can affect child support, spousal support (“alimony”), and the division of property and assets. Full disclosure is required to make absolutely sure that there aren’t any surprises after your divorce has been final.