Judgment of Dissolution:
The goal of the divorce process is to end up with a “Judgment of Dissolution” which we will also refer to as a “divorce judgment”. If you are seeking a “Judgment of Legal Separation” instead of a divorce, all of the procedures set forth below for a divorce judgment are essentially the same, you will just check a few different boxes on the judgment form. The divorce judgment will terminate your marital status and restore you to the status of being a “single” person. The divorce judgment will also include the court orders that divide your property, divide your debts, spell out child custody arrangements, set child support, and set spousal support.
The following information about how to draft a Judgment of Dissolution is geared towards cases in which you were able to negotiate a settlement of all issues with your spouse. The following information applies to “uncontested” divorce cases, including “default with an agreement” cases. If you have a “true default” case where your spouse refused to participate in the divorce process, skip ahead to the section of the website entitled, “True Default Case”. If you have a “contested” divorce case because you and your spouse were not able to reach a settlement on some or all of the issues, skip ahead to the section of the website entitled, “Contested Case”.
Judicial Council forms approach vs. Marital Settlement Agreement approach:
There are two different ways to draft your divorce judgment.