Welcome to FreeDivorce.com.
Christina: This is Christina.
Ed: This is Ed. Today, are going to discuss what you need to know about California court forms.
A divorce can be completed from start to finish by filling out various court forms and then filing those forms with the court.
You can also obtain a domestic violence restraining order by filling out court forms and filing the forms with the court.
The court forms are known as Judicial Council forms. They were created by the State of California. Their use is mandatory. You can find the court forms on our website. Christina, will you talk a bit about court forms and our website?
Christina: Our website provides you with all of the forms you will need for free. The forms are contained in our Court Forms Database. All of the forms are fillable. You can find any form you need in our database, fill out the form, save it, print it, and then file it with the court.
Each court form has a name and also a form number. For example, a Petition For Dissolution of Marriage is known as FL-100. The “FL” stands for family law. A Request For Domestic Violence Restraining Orders is known as DV-100. The “DV” stands for domestic violence. On our website, we will always give you both the name of each form and the form number. In each section of our website where we discuss a particular court form, we first give you the name of the form, but we then primarily refer to the form by its number. When looking at a court form, you can always find the form number by looking at the top right-hand corner of the form.
Ed: How do you access the forms on our website?
Christina: You can access our Court Forms Database from FreeDivorce.com. home page. That will take you right to all the forms.
Ed: How are the court forms organized in the database?
Christina: The database is organized by groups of forms and then by the form number. All the Family law forms, which are “FL” forms, are grouped together. All the domestic violence forms, which are “DV” forms, are grouped together. For example, the divorce forms start with FL-100, which is the divorce petition, and go through FL-396. The domestic violence forms start with DV-100, which is the form you use to request a domestic violence restraining order and goes through DV-250. The two main groups of forms are the FL forms and the DV forms, but the database includes other forms. For example, fee waiver forms start with the letters, “FW”.
Each group of court forms is listed in numerical order. When you are looking in our forms database, use the form number and that will make it really easy for you to find that particular form.
Christina: Now that I have explained how the court forms database is organized, Ed, why don’t you tell us how the forms work.
Ed: When you look in the court forms database, you are going to see forms that are blank and forms that are completed. For example, the form you fill out to request a fee waiver is FW-001. In the database, you will find a form entitled, FW-001 Blank” and you will find another form entitled, “FW-001 Completed”. You can pull up the completed version of the form and print it as a sample of what a completed form can look like. Then, you can click on the blank version of the FW-001 form and fill it out for yourself, typing in your name, address, and other relevant information.
All of the court forms in our database are fillable. You can pull up any form you need, fill it out, save it, and then print the form. The form will then be ready for you to file with the court.
You are not required to type up the forms. If you wish, you can print the blank version of any form from our database and then fill out the form with a pen. If you use a pen, your writing has to be legible. The court will accept forms that are filled out with a pen.
Christina: Are all the court forms contained in our database free?
Ed: Yes. All of the court forms contained in our database are absolutely free.
Christina: How many forms are contained in the court forms database?
Ed: Our Court Forms Database contains over one hundred forms. There are many hundreds of Judicial Council forms in existence, most of which have nothing to do with divorce or family law. We have included in our database all of the forms we think the vast majority of people will need. However, if you find you need a particular court form that is not in our database, you can Google “California Judicial Council” and on that government website, you can find every Judicial Council form that exists.
Christina: Are all of the court forms in the database printed in English?
Ed: Yes. Some of the Judicial Council forms exist in different languages. For example, the Petition For Dissolution of Marriage, FL-100, can be found on the Judicial Council website in English, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. We did not include these translated forms in our database for a number of reasons. First, the court clerk will only accept forms that are printed in English. Second, there are a very limited number of forms that have been translated. We felt the inclusion of the translated versions of the forms in our database would create confusion.
Christina: We suggest you click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar as soon as you are done watching this video and take a look at our Court Forms Database so you can see how it is organized. You can click on any form, have it pop up, and see how easy it is to fill out the form. Depending on your browser or the type of device you are using to view our site, it may take up to 30 seconds for the form to pop up, so be patient.