Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bay Area Divorce; Online Help

If you are divorcing in Northern California, you can find quite a bit of information without ever leaving your comfy couch or hiring a lawyer. Below are some really helpful websites to help you get started:

1. Self Help: Whether you want to file an uncontested or complex divorce, domestic partnership dissolution, guardianship, paternity action or support modification -- the procedure can be very confusing. Follow this link to find California court forms, preparing documents and filing/serving them with the proper court.

2. Divorce Docket: Many counties offer an online service to find basic information about your case such as: Parties and attorney's, next court date, filed documents, hearing locations and the Judge assigned to the case. If you live in Alameda County, click here and then go to "Domain Web." In Contra Costa County,  click here and go to "Tell me about my court case." For Solano County, click here,

3. Deeds and Trusts: If you want to find out ownership and finance information for real property, check your local recorder's office. In Alameda County, you will want to go to County of Alameda Recorder's Office. In Contra Costa County, click on the Contra Costa County Clerk Recorder's Office. Solano County property records can be found here.

4. Finding Lawyers: There are several websites that will help you find reputable divorce and family law attorney's in your neighborhood. Local Bar's tend to have referral services such as the Alameda Legal Referral Service or you can go to the California Attorney Referral Resource. Other websites such as Yelp and Avvo offer client reviews and other information about practice areas, experience and contact information.

5. Free Divorce Information: Nolo demystifies the process and offers key information about divorce. Sometimes individual counties also have websites that assist you with preparing your case. In Alameda, this site tells you how to file a divorce action. Contra Costa County has a virtual self help center.

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