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Virtual Divorce Workshop

In this workshop you will find answers to:

How to Start a Divorce or Legal Separation case

Starting a Dissolution (Divorce)

This series of videos provides information about starting a divorce, the legal terminology, and the process, including what to do after filing the case. Prior to having the Self Help Center review your forms to start a divorce, you must watch these videos and submit the information requested at the end of the video, if required. The videos will cover the following important facts regarding starting a divorce, including:

  • The difference between divorce, legal separation and nullity
  • Spousal and child support
  • Declarations of disclosure
  • Income and expenses
  • Separate and community property
  • Child custody and parenting time
  • Parentage issues relating to marriage
  • Procedural steps when starting a divorce

Who Should View this Series of Videos

Anyone is welcome to view the videos. Please do not submit the information at the end of the course if you do not plan to file your case in Santa Clara County.

You should watch these videos if:

  • You wish to start a divorce and want more information about the process
  • You want to amend (fix a problem) on your original petition
  • You want the Self Help Center to review your forms to start a divorce

What to Expect

Plan for a minimum of 50 minutes to complete the entire video series, if you have no minor children. If you have minor children, the videos will take approximately 1 hour to complete.

Click on the first video link below to start the program. To create a record of your participation at the end of the program, you will need to provide the following required information:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • Phone number
After watching the videos, you will review your options to access the forms. After you have completed the forms, you can choose to submit them to the Self Help Center for review before filing forms with the Clerk’s Office.



How to Start a Divorce or Legal Separation Workshop Videos

There are five videos in this Divorce series. You may watch these videos at your convenience. We encourage you to watch the videos in chronological order below.

If you wish to have our Self Help Center staff review your forms, you are required to watch the following videos below. You may watch these videos at your own pace. At the end of each video below, you will be asked to create a record of your participation.

  • Starting a Divorce or Legal Separation case
  • Minor Children (only required if you and the other parent have a child or children together)
  • Financial Disclosures

1. Starting a Divorce or Legal Separation Case

2. Summary Dissolution

3. Minor Children

4. Financial Disclosures

5. The Next Steps After Filing your Divorce or Legal Separation Case

Filling Out Your Divorce or Legal Separation Forms

Now that you have finished watching the videos above, you are ready to start filling out your divorce forms. You have several options below for filling out your forms. Please read through each option thoroughly to determine which option is best for you. You will only need to choose one option below to fill out your forms.

When filling out your forms online, please remember to write down your login name and password, and keep that information in a safe, confidential place.

*Disclaimer: The review of your forms by the Self Help Center is for new dissolution filings only, or if you are amending your divorce petition for the first time and no response has been filed in your case.

  • 1. LawHelp Interactive: This website gives you interactive divorce forms, along with your preliminary declarations of disclosures, to fill out. Once you have finished filling out the forms, you may print them to have them reviewed by the Self Help Center before filing your forms with the Clerk’s office.
        https://lawhelpinteractive.org/Interview/GenerateInterview/5457/engine 

  • 2. Guide and File: This website gives you interactive divorce forms to fill out. At the end of the program, you have the option of filing your forms online with the Clerk’s office without having them reviewed.     http://www.scscourt.org/self_help/selfhelp_OdyGuideandFile.shtml
        Select: “Start a Divorce, Legal Separation, or Nullity”

    The Self Help Center strongly encourages all litigants who have access to the internet and a computer to use either LawHelp Interactive or Guide and File above for filling out your divorce forms.

  • 3. Self Help Center Website: On the court’s website, we have blank form packets, and sample packets you can download and print. Once you have both packets, you use the sample packet as a guide to complete the blank forms. Before filing your forms with the Clerk’s office, you may have them reviewed by the Self Help Center.
        https://www.scscourt.org/self_help/self_help_packets.shtml#DIV

  • 4. No Internet /No Computer/No Printer Access: For litigants who do not have access to the internet or no access to a computer, or no access to a printer. Please contact our office by calling 408-882-2926. A member of our staff can mail you a packet or make other arrangements as necessary.

Optional: Have Your Forms Reviewed by the Self Help Center Staff

If you have filled out your forms, and do NOT need a staff member from the Self Help Center to review your forms before turning them into the Clerk’s office, skip to the next section on Filing Your Forms.

If you have filled out your forms, and would like for a staff member at the Self Help Center to review your forms, follow the instructions below:

*Disclaimer: YOU MUST HAVE WATCHED ALL REQUIRED DIVORCE WORKSHOP VIDEOS AND SUBMITTED THE ONLINE VIEWING VERIFICATION for each workshop video vierwed in order for the Self Help Center staff to review your forms. Failure to watch all required videos and submission of online verifications will result in rejection of your forms for review.

  1. Email your divorce forms (in PDF format only) to us for review at .
  2. After we have received your submission, a Self Help Center staff member will contact you with feedback on your forms, including the next steps in your case. Make sure the name, phone number and email address you provided on your forms are correct.
  3. If you have any further questions after our staff has reviewed your forms, contact our office by email at , or checking our Self Help Center webpage for more information.

Filing Your Forms with the Clerk’s Office

Once you are ready to file your forms, click here to download a copy of your filing instructions: Disso Start-Instructions .

You may also find it helpful to watch our video on The Next Steps After Filing your Divorce or Legal Separation case.

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