How to Fill Out Form FL-180 California and Navigate the Divorce Process

Divorcing in California requires understanding and filling out a series of forms, with Form FL-180, also known as the final judgment divorce form, being among the most crucial. This in-depth guide will walk you through the process of filling out Form FL-180, its accompanying form FL-190, and the necessary steps to file for divorce in California by yourself.

California Divorce Forms

How to Fill Out Form FL-180 California: A Step-by-Step Guide

Form FL-180, or the Judgment form, is essential for those seeking a divorce, legal separation, or annulment in California.

  • Personal Information: Begin with your personal details, case number, and specify the type of judgment: divorce, legal separation, or annulment.
  • Marital or Domestic Partnership Status: Note the date when the status changes, marking the end of the partnership.
  • Orders: Include details of orders such as child custody, spousal support, property division, etc.
  • Date and Sign: Don’t forget to date and sign the form, affirming the truthfulness of all information provided.

Understanding FL-190: The Notice of Entry of Judgment

After filling out the FL-180, one must also familiarize themselves with Form FL-190, the “Notice of Entry of Judgment.” This is a critical document, signaling the court’s acknowledgment of the divorce decree.

FL-190 Divorce Decree: This document certifies that the judgment (FL-180) has been officially entered into court records. Both parties receive this notice, confirming the legal ending of the marriage.

Uncontested Divorce California Forms

In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on all issues. This simplifies the process. The primary forms for an uncontested divorce include:

  • Form FL-180: As discussed, the main judgment form.
  • Form FL-190: The notice indicating official recording of the judgment.
  • Other Forms: Depending on your case, you might need forms like FL-141 (Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure) or FL-160 (Property Declaration).

How to File for Divorce in California by Yourself

  • Gather Necessary Documents: Start by collecting all required forms, including but not limited to FL-180 and FL-190.
  • Complete All Forms: Ensure all the details are accurate to avoid complications.
  • File with the Court: Submit your papers to the county’s Superior Court where either you or your spouse has lived for the last six months.
  • Serve Your Spouse: After filing, serve the papers to your spouse, using legal methods of service.
  • Wait for Response: Your spouse has 30 days to respond.
  • Follow Through: If there’s no contest, after waiting for the mandatory 6-month period, you can finalize your divorce.

Documents Needed to File for Divorce in California

  • Petition (FL-100): This initiates the divorce process.
  • Summons (FL-110): This informs your spouse of the divorce proceedings.
  • Property Declaration (FL-160): If you’re dividing property.
  • Child Custody and Visitation Application (FL-311): If children are involved.
  • Financial documents: Income, debt, and property details.
  • Final Judgment Forms: FL-180 and the accompanying FL-190.


Navigating the complexities of a divorce, especially when doing it by yourself, requires careful attention to detail. While the FL-180 and FL-190 forms are central to the process, understanding all the required documents and steps is paramount. With the right knowledge and preparation, you can ensure a smoother transition during this challenging time. Whether you’re opting for an uncontested divorce or the traditional route, having a grasp of these California forms will empower you through the journey.