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Forms Approach

 

Judicial Council forms approach to drafting a judgment:

The following are instructions on how to draft a divorce judgment using a collection of Judicial Council forms.  If you decided to draft your divorce judgment using our Marital Settlement Agreement template, after you have drafted your Marital Settlement Agreement, jump to the “Drafting Judgment” section of this website .  If you did not use our Marital Settlement Agreement template, then you will use the Judicial Council forms described below to set forth the terms of the settlement agreement you negotiated with your spouse.

Judicial Council form for the division of assets and debts:

There is a Judicial Council form you can use to set forth your settlement agreement with regard to the division of your assets and debts.  The form is called, “Property Order Attachment To Judgment” (FL-345). Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find both an example of a completed FL-345 and a blank FL-345 form that you can fill out and print.  After you have filled out and printed the FL-345 form, save it.  You are going to end up attaching that form to your divorce judgment.

If you need to add any attachments to the FL-345, use the Judicial Council form MC-025.  See the paragraph at the end of this “Forms Approach” section of the website entitled, “Judicial Council attachment form”.  The MC-025 can be found in our Court Forms Database.

Judicial Council forms for child custody:

There is a collection of Judicial Council forms you can fill out in order to set forth your child custody agreement.  Start with the form entitled, “Child Custody And Visitation (Parenting Time) Order Attachment” (FL-341).  Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find both an example of a completed FL-341 and a blank FL-341 form that you can fill out and print. Complete the FL-341 and then set it aside.  You will use the form later as an attachment to your divorce judgment.

If you and your spouse, like most parents, are going to share joint legal custody, then you should fill out the Judicial Council form called, “Joint Legal Custody Attachment” (FL-341E).  This form should not be used when one party is going to have sole legal custody.  If one parent is going to have sole legal custody, you don’t need the FL-341E form.  Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database and see both an example of a completed FL-341E and a blank FL-341E form that you can fill out and print.  Fill out the FL-341E form and then print it.  The form is easy to fill out.  Just read it and check the appropriate boxes that you want checked. After you have completed and printed the form, set it aside.  You will use the form later as an attachment to your divorce judgment.

A child custody order should include provisions about how to share custody of the children during holidays and other special days, such as birthdays.  A child custody order should also include provisions about each parent having the right to take the children on vacation.   There is a Judicial Council form to address both of these areas.  The form is entitled, “Children’s Holiday Schedule Attachment” (FL-341C). You are not required to use this form, but it is a good idea to have your custody order deal with holiday and vacation issues. Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database and see both an example of a completed FL-341(C) and a blank FL-341(C) form that you can fill out and print. You do not have to allocate all of the holidays.  If you prefer, you can address only the major holidays listed on the form.  If there are holidays that are important to you that are not listed on the form, you can type them in on page 2 of the form.  After you have completed and printed the form, set it aside.  You will use the form later as an attachment to your divorce judgment.

There is another Judicial Council custody form that can be useful.  It is called, “Additional Provisions – Physical Custody Attachment” (FL-341D).  Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database and see both an example of a completed FL-341(D) and a blank FL-341(D) form that you can fill out and print.  Many of the provisions set forth on this form should be part of a child custody order.  Read over the options offered.  Check the boxes for the provisions you want included as part of your custody agreement.  After you have completed and printed the form, set it aside.  You will use the form later as an attachment to your divorce judgment.

There are still more custody related Judicial Council forms available, but you probably won’t need them, at least if you are processing an uncontested divorce.  The additional forms are:  1) Supervised Visitation Order (FL-341A); and 2) Child Abduction Prevention Order Attachment (FL-341B).  Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you can find a blank FL-341A and a blank FL-341B that you can fill out.

If you want a legal custody or a physical custody arrangement that does not fit the Judicial Council forms, you will need to draft a detailed attachment or use the Marital Settlement Agreement template approach instead of the collection of Judicial Council forms for your judgment.  Again, if you are going to use attachments to any of the Judicial Council forms, see the paragraph at the end of this “Forms Approach” section of the website entitled, “Judicial Council attachment form”.

Judicial Council forms for child support:

There is a Judicial Council form you can use to set forth your agreement about child support.  The form is called, “Child Support Information And Order Attachment” (FL-342).  Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database where you can find both an example of a completed FL-342 and a blank FL-342 that you can fill out and print.  Complete your FL-342, print it, and set it aside.  Later, you will attach it to your divorce judgment.

Usually, one parent advances the out-of-pocket health care cost for the children and then seeks reimbursement.  There has to be a reimbursement procedure.  There is a Judicial Council form known as, “Notice of Rights And Responsibilities – Health-Care Costs and Reimbursement Procedures”, (FL-192).   Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database and find the FL-192. There is nothing to fill out on the form.  You simply print it and attach it to your Judgment of Dissolution.  If you have minor children, the FL-192 must be attached to your divorce judgment.  If you don’t have minor children, you don’t need the FL-192.

The FL-342 assumes you are agreeing to the “guideline” amount of child support (i.e., the amount generated by a child support computer software program).  As previously discussed, the “guideline” child support amount is determined by use of a computer program that incorporates the child support statutory guideline formulas.  You don’t have to agree to the “guideline” amount of child support.  You and your spouse can agree to higher or lower amounts of support.  However, if you are going to agree to a non-guideline amount, then you will also need to fill out an additional Judicial Council form known as “Non-guideline Child Support Findings Attachment” FL-342(A).   Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database and see both an example of a completed FL-342(A) and a blank FL-342(A) form that you can fill out and print. If you fill out the FL-342(A), print it and set it aside for now.  Later, you will attach it to your Judgment of Dissolution.

Judicial Council forms for spousal support:

There is a Judicial Council form that you can use to set forth your agreement about spousal support.  The form is called, “Spousal, Partner, Or Family Support Order Attachment” (FL-343).  Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database and see both an example of a completed FL-343 and a blank FL-343 form that you can fill out and print.  Fill out the form and print it.  Set it aside.  Later, you will attach the form to your divorce judgment.

If the spousal support agreement you want just does not fit the FL-343 form, then consider either using the Marital Settlement Agreement template or using an attachment to your FL-343.

Judicial Council forms for attorney fees and costs:

There is a court form you can attach to your Judgment of Dissolution if you want the judgment to include orders for the payment of attorney fees and/or court costs (such as your filing fee).  The form is called, “Attorney’s fees And Costs Order Attachment” (FL-346). Click the “Court Forms” button on the navigation bar to go to our Court Forms Database and see both an example of a completed FL-346 and a blank FL- 346 form that you can fill out and print.  If you have not incurred any attorney fees because you are doing all of the work yourself to process the divorce, then there is no need to include this form as part of your judgment.

Judicial Council attachment form:

If you are using Judicial Council forms, there will be occasions when you can’t fit everything you want to include on the forms in the small spaces provided.  You will need an attachment.  There is a Judicial Council attachment form (MC-025).  You can use this form for any attachment you may need.  Click the “Court Forms” button on the homepage to go to our Court Forms Database where you will find the MC-025.

 

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