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How to Get a Divorce in California

Attorney Ed Sherman explains California divorce procedures in this entertaining video, and also reveals the difference between an easy divorce and a difficult one. He then shows you how to get an easy California divorce. Watch the video at How to Get a California Divorce.


Listen to Ed Sherman’s Interview on JenningsWire




Listen to this inteview with Family Law Attorney, Ed Sherman, who is the author of ten books including his famous debut title, How to Do Your Own Divorce and his most recent, How to Do your Own Divorce in Texas.

Ed is credited with starting the self-help law movement and has saved billions of dollars in legal fees for millions of people with his books and software. 

In the interview, Ed reveals how to get the best possible more


Divorce Papers in California

Filing your own divorce papers in California may seem intimidating, so we decided to lighten things up with this video. Check it out at California divorce papers. We hope you enjoy it!


How to Deal with a Stressful Divorce

Any divorce is bound to be full of stress. On top of the million and one things you have to take care of, you are also dealing with the emotional toll of dissolving your marriage. You are expected to get up, go to work and move through every day as if nothing is wrong. All these factors can negatively impact your wellbeing.

There are ways to handle stress during this difficult time. Doing simple tasks each day can significantly reduce tension brought about by this significant event. Don’t succumb to anxiety and depression. Follow these 6 simple things and you’ll emerge relatively unscathed.

1.    Don’t shy away from dealing with emotional issues.
Emotions are bound to go haywire during a divorce. You’ll find yourself going through a cycle of emotions. Some people experience all stages of grief during this time. It’s important that you acknowledge these emotions and talk to someone about them. Keeping all those feelings inside will only serve to increase stress levels.

2.    Keep yourself physically active.     aerobics-382x255
Exercise is the best way to relieve anxiety during this difficult period. You need to create a physically engaging program that will get your blood pumping. During exercise, your body releases endorphins that are the happy chemicals the brain produces. These will certainly keep you light and joyful throughout the day. Keeping fit also boosts your confidence and self-worth, two things that may dwindle during a divorce. You need to stay active and give your brain a break.

3.    Watch what you eat.
veggies-500x332It’s essential to maintain a healthy diet. Eating the right food will give you a boost of energy. Fiber-rich food also refreshes your digestive system and keeps things running smoothly. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables to sustain you throughout the day. Avoid eating too many carbohydrates and sugars. These will give you a momentary rush but will also result in a crash later. What you need are healthful foods that can help your body and your mind light.

4.    Accept your new reality.
Nothing will change if you don’t change. Divorce may not have been your idea, but it’s time to create a new identity. Keeping your self in the past will only serve to add to your stress. Letting go of negative emotions will free your self up for new and exciting challenges.

5.    Steer clear of unhealthy habits.   bingeEating-145x200
During stressful situations, it’s quite tempting to binge on alcohol, caffeine and food. You tell yourself that’s it’s okay to indulge because you’re going through a tough time. If you do succumb to these urges, you’ll find yourself feeling worse and not better. Eating fast food may cause your skin to break out, and drinking may affect your metabolism. These and other problems can arise from over-indulging in bad habits.

6.    Try new (relaxing) things.
If you’ve never tried yoga or meditation before, now is the perfect time to start. Detox and give your mind an opportunity to relax. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’d feel after an hour or so of yoga and/or meditation.

Though the prospect of divorce can heighten stress levels substantially, it’s not without its benefits. Stepping away from an unhealthy relationship can be the best stress reliever out there. Doing these simple tasks can help you deal with anxiety and tension that comes with dissolving your marriage.

Thanks to Ryan Rivera of, who contributed this article.

Understanding how divorce works can also decrease stress, by removing the fear of the unknown, and making you feel more in charge of your life. For information on the California Divorce Process, visit California State Divorce.

Reasons for Divorce



Understanding the reasons for divorce may help you ensure that it never happens to you. You can think about how to avoid the scenarios in your own marriage that commonly lead to divorce for others.

In a Huffington Post article published on March 3, 2013, Kim Olver shared five reasons she discovered while conducting research for a book:

1. Major changes in priorities. If the marriage lasts long enough, the things each partner cares most about often is different from when the marriage started. Sometimes these changes in focus are aligned, which isn't a problem, but if the priorities of each spouse diverge into different directions, this can lead to divorce. Suppose one spouse develops a new interest which becomes an obsession, and the other spouse feels left out and abandoned. Olver discovered that some common issues where changes in priorities lead to divorce are religious practices, extreme focus on children or career, or big changes in relationships with in-laws or friends.

2. Abuse. This one is not surprising. If one spouse starts abusing the other, and the couple is not able to find a way to put a stop to this unacceptable situation, divorce is the expected outcome.

3. Addictions. Many people are not able to tolerate an addiction in their spouse, especially if the addiction was not known of before the marriage. Some addictions that commonly lead to divorce are drug abuse or alcoholism, pornography, and gambling. An addicted spouse can't be counted on to be there for the other partner. One of the benefits of marriage is the feeling that someone "has your back" but you lose this when your spouse suffers from addiction.

4. Dishonesty. For people who believe strongly that marriage must be built on trust, the discovery of dishonesty on the part of the other spouse can be a marriage deal-breaker, leading to divorce. It doesn't matter what the person's definition of dishonesty is. It can be anything from lying by omission, to outright deceit. For people who highly value trust, divorce is the inevitable outcome once trust is lost through dishonesty.

5. Cheating. Again, this is a not an absolute. Some couples are able to get past cheating, and for others, the loss of trust can never be regained. Even when the cheater is repentant, and the other spouse wants to keep the marriage going, they sometimes can't get over the hurt and humiliation, and end up punishing the offending partner to the point where the marriage can't be saved.

Utah State University did a study on reasons for divorce, and came up with some different results. They report on eight factors that increase the risk of divorce: young age, less education, less income, premarital cohabitation, premarital childbearing, lack of religious affiliation, parents' divorce, and insecurity. Of course, when asked why they got divorced, people don't give these kinds of reasons. Here are eight common reasons the USU study shows that interview subjects gave for getting divorced: lack of commitment, too much arguing, infidelity, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of equality in the relationship, lack of preparation for marriage, and abuse. 

Not all divorces occur because the partners no longer want to be married. In some cases, spouses feel pushed into divorce for practical or financial reasons. This can happen to elderly couples who receive financial benefits, whether for health insurance coverage or income status, by getting divorced. In China, the city of Nanjing recently imposed new rules regarding access to schools, and property ownership. This resulted in a huge increase in divorces by couples who wanted to get around rules limiting the number of properties they could own. Also, parents have been divorcing so their children could attend a better school by having one of the parents get a new address in a better school district.

If you are considering divorce, you might be interested to know that almost half of the subjects in the USU study told researchers they wished they had tried harder to overcome the problems that ended their marriage. If you think this could happen to you, maybe you will be motivated to work harder on your marriage before giving up.

But if despite your best efforts, divorce is inevitable, then your best option is to try for the easiest divorce possible. To learn more, visit Simple Divorce or for a California divorce, click Simple Divorce in California




Documentary Film Helps Children of Divorce

In a new documentary, Split, San Francisco veteran filmaker Ellen Bruno gets kids to talk about their feelings and experiences from their parents' divorce, with the goal of helping children of divorce. Having gone through two divorces (her parent's divorce, and her own divorce), Bruno feels strongly that children of divorce can benefit from watching other kids talk about some of the same things they are probably going through.

According to the Marin Independent Journal, Bruno says, "I know from my own experience and I also know from my kids' experience, when things aren't talked about, kids have wild imaginations and they imagine the worst. They become the monsters under the bed. Bringing these conversations out in the open is a huge relief for kids."

It's quite moving to watch a young boy and girl in the video talk about how crying, and even screaming, can help cope with the difficult feelings divorce brings up.

Gwen Gordon, who lives in Farifax, in Marin County, California, helped Bruno with the project. Bruno included art work done by some of the children she interviewed, and Gordon added animation to the art to emphasize what the kids are saying. Gordon also created an activity book for children of divorce.

Although the film is for and by kids, it's important that adults watch the film as well, to understand the importance of getting kids to talk about what they feel about their parents' divorce. As in many other difficult situations in life, talking about your feelings can be very healing.

As is often the case when there are children of divorce in the Golden State, support can be an issue parents need to deal with. For more information on this topic, visit California Child Support.


Tax Payers to Save Almost Half a Million Dollars with New Child Support Legislation

U.S. House Bill HR 1896, the International Child Support Recovery Improvement Act, passed by a huge majority (394 to 27) on June 19, 2013. The bill streamlines enforcement of child support laws both nationally and internationally.

Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA) notes that, “This simple piece of legislation allows for enforcement officials to work with local, state and international agencies in effectively implementing child support laws.”

Fitzpatrick explains that by facilitating and increasing the recovery of child support payments the bill can save U.S. taxpayers nearly half a million dollars.

The International Child Support Recovery Improvement Act is an international agreement between nations to share and enforce child support case information and laws. According to the Legislative Digest, “H.R. 1896 serves as the implementing legislation for the Hague Convention on International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance, providing enforcement of international cases of child support.  

"Specifically, H.R. 1896 gives the United States the ability to recognize child support orders from participating countries and extends provisions of the domestic child support enforcement system to international cases.  The bill also ensures that the Federal tax refund offset process is made available to States collecting past-due orders from other nations.  The bill requires States to implement legislative changes prescribed in the 2008 Uniform Interstate Family Support Act so that their laws are consistent with the treaty.”

The United States has a federal-state program that enforces child support orders between states. Typically, the U.S. has enforced foreign child support orders, but without legislation in place such as now provided by HR 1896, many other countries have not reciprocated. So if a divorced parent who owed child support lived abroad, the U.S. based parent who was due the child support was not always able to collect it.

HR 1896 strengthens international compliance with U.S. child support orders, making it more likely that children in the U.S. will be supported, even if the paying parent lives outside the country.

For information about child support in California, visit California Child Support Payments.

California Child Custody—A Brilliant Solution to a Big Problem

Mom's House - Dad's House, After Divorce

A Canadian couple created a brilliant solution to a child custody problem most divorced parents face: carting the kids back and forth between mom's house and dad's house.

When physical child custody is split between divorced parents, Mom and Dad often find themselves hauling their children’s school, sports, and social equipment back and forth, and it's not uncommon to overlook something important, requiring yet another trip.

As reported by the Edmonton Journal, divorced parents Monica McGrath and Kent Kirkland designed a cleverly split family home that gives the parents their own private living space, along with a hall and door system that lets the kids stay in one house. This could work just as well for parents with California joint physical child custody.

The home is basically a duplex, with one half for each parent, but from the street, it looks like a single family residence. Monica's side has a front door at the front of the house, but the door and front porch to Kent's side is around the side of the house, hidden from the street view.

Although sharing a common wall, the insides of these twin homes are as different as the occupants. Monica's home is bright and light, with keepsakes decor and art. Kent's home is minimalist with neutral colors--stark and masculine with more practical features. What they have in common is three bedrooms on the second floor. But depending on which week it is, the number of bedrooms can increase to four, or decrease to two.

The children, 10-year-old Sean and 8-year-old Audrey, each have their own rooms, located in a hallway that is accessible to both homes, with locking fire doors at each end of the hall.

During the weeks when Monica has the kids, Kent locks the door on his end of the hall. When it's Kent's turn with the children, Monica locks her hallway door. The kids know not to try and access the other parent through the locked doors. They use the front door or the phone instead if they need their other parent.

What's so great about this arrangement is that the kids have permanent rooms, and don't have to haul their stuff back and forth between different homes. It also saves the parents a lot of driving to pick up kids. Another plus is the flexibility this allows in their lives. If an important outside commitment comes up during one of the parent's time with the kids, the other one is right next door.

Of course, it takes a certain amount of cooperation and civility between divorced parents, and the willingness to do what’s best for the kids, to be able to pull something like this off, along with the financial means to create such a flexible type of home. In Monica and Kent's case, they put their children first from the very start of the troubles in their marriage.

Monica and Kent admit that it was a lot of work to get where they are now, and they had to work through some hard feelings, and that even now all their feelings are not warm and loving. But they feel that it was worth it to be able to live in a "progressive" home the children can call their own.

For more information on how parents can get the best possible California divorce for their kids, visit

California Divorce Guide

Nolo Press Occidental has released Ed Sherman's latest eBook, Nolo's Essential Guide to California Divorce. The new book is actually Part One of his famous best-seller, How to Do Your Own Divorce in California, the book that launched the entire self-help law movement.

Sherman published his Essential Guide to meet the needs of Californians who want to learn more about the divorce process and understand how it works in California. Sherman says, "The single most important factor in a divorce is starting off with the right information. Divorce is hard enough without having to struggle against a legal system that tends to make things worse instead of better. If you follow my advice, you won't have to go through that."

Nolo's Essential Guide to California Divorce provides advice, both practical and legal; explains California divorce law and how it affects you; and helps you define what kind of case you have, then explains how to proceed with your divorce. In plain clear language Sherman provides essential information you will need to get through your California divorce faster, and with a lower cost and minimum pain.  His information is based on Sherman's 40+ years of experience with more than 46,000 cases that settled successfully without a court battle.

You may be wondering why Sherman decided to publish the first part of an existing title separately. After so many years of experience helping people get divorced, Sherman understands that even if you don't want to do your own divorce, his information is still essential to going through the divorce process and coming out with the best possible outcome. That's what his Essential Guide provides. If you decide after reading his Essential Guide that you do feel comfortable filing for divorce on your own, you can then get How to Do Your Own Divorce in California at a substantial discount, available only to owners of the Essential Guide, and use Part Two of How to Do Your Own Divorce to learn how to prepare and file your paperwork yourself.

Get Your Copy Now

Call (800) 464-5502 or Click the Add to Cart Button Below


Divorce Videos on Nolo’s YouTube Channel

The Nolo Divorce YouTube Channel features 16 new videos of divorce expert attorney Ed Sherman covering such topics as:

  • How to Get a Divorce
  • How to Do Your Own Divorce in California
  • How to File for Divorce
  • Divorce Mediation
  • Online Divorce
  • Divorce Lawyers
  • Child Support in Divorce
  • Divorce Settlements
  • How to Divide Property in a Divorce
  • How to Get Sherman's Divorce Checklist

Sherman is famous for starting the self-help law movement when he founded Nolo Press in 1971 to publish the first edition of How to Do Your Own Divorce in California. Since then, divorcing couples have saved BILLIONS of dollars in legal fees using Sherman's divorce books and software.

Although Sherman has sold more than a million books (which are based on his experience of over 40 years of success with more than 46,000 cases that settled successfully without a fight in court) he saw the need to provide information in video format, in keeping with the growing trend towards video.