How Do I Start the Divorce Process in California?

A divorce is officially commenced by the filing of a divorce petition and summons in court for the California county in which you live. The petition and summons must then be served on your spouse, who will have 30 days to answer it. You will need to file a proof of service with the court. You may also need to file other documents if you have minor children, including the Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act, the Child Custody and Visitation Application Attachment, and the Property Declaration.