Getting Help Finishing Your Divorce
The One Day Divorce Program assists parties with divorce cases before Sacramento Superior Court to finish the case and get a final judgment. Volunteer attorneys and law students assist eligible parties in finalizing an agreement and preparing all of the necessary forms to obtain the final Judgment. Parties who successfully complete the process will go before a judge the same day and will leave court with a final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.
Who Can Participate?
The One Day Divorce Program is for self-represented litigants who have filed a dissolution of marriage (divorce) case in Sacramento County and are ready for judgment. (If you have not filed a case yet, go to How to Start a Case - Marriage for information.) Your case is ready for judgment if you can answer Yes to all of the following three questions:
- Has the summons and petition been served on Respondent?
- Has a Proof of Service of Summons OR a Response been filed with the Court?
- Has each party who wants to participate filed an Income and Expense Declaration within the last four months?
- Have you and your spouse reached an agreement on all orders that will be included in your judgment, including division of property and debts, spousal support, and if you have children, a parenting plan and child support? (This is not a requirement if you are the petitioner and your spouse has not filed a response.)
Caution! If you or your spouse have retirement benefits that were earned during the marriage, you will not be able to complete your judgment unless the retirement benefits are listed in your Petition and/or Response.
If you are the Respondent, you may not participate in the program without the Petitioner.
How Can I Sign Up?
First, check your monthly household income against this chart to determine if you qualify for the program (if both spouses will attend the clinic, you must both meet the income guidelines):
|Number of Household Members||Monthly Income Limit|
If you meet the requirements above, please contact us through e-Correspondence to request an appointment. We will check the court file to verify your income using the Income and Expense Declaration in the Court file. If you have not filed an Income and Expense Declaration or other financial information within the past four months, you will be asked to do so before requesting an appointment. Clinics are held on the second Friday of each month beginning at 9:00 a.m. and continuing until your judgment has been entered. In some cases, participants are able to complete the process by noon, but you should be prepared to spend the entire day at the courthouse. Participation is by appointment only.
Information for Volunteers
The Sacramento Superior Court relies on volunteers to make the One Day Divorce Program a success. Thank you for your interest in helping us to help the people of Sacramento County. The Program relies on both experienced and new attorney volunteers, as follows:
New Attorneys (0-10 years experience)
New attorneys play a vital role in the One Day Divorce Program as "forms assistants." At the start of each clinic, forms assistants meet with litigants and gather intake data. Once the litigants have met with the Judge Pro Tem, forms assistants type the forms necessary to complete the Judgment. Forms assistants participate in the meetings between the litigants and the Judge Pro Tem. Once the judgment and related documents have been approved by the Judge Pro Tem, the forms assistants accompany the litigants to the courtroom for entry of Judgment.
Experienced Attorneys (10+ years experience)
Attorneys who are approved to serve as Judges Pro Tem for the Sacramento Superior Court assist in the One Day Divorce Program in much the same way as is done in our settlement conference program. In addition to assisting the parties in reaching settlement, the Judges Pro Tem also instruct the forms assistants in the preparation of the required judgment forms. Once the forms are prepared, the Judges Pro Tem review and approve them before sending the parties to the courtroom for entry of judgment.
Experienced Attorneys who are not Judges Pro Tem for Sacramento Superior Court may still participate in the One Day Divorce Program in the role of forms assistants. The role of the forms assistant is described above under New Attorneys.
Attorneys who wish to participate in the One Day Divorce Program, either as Judges Pro Tem or as forms assistants, may contact us at OneDayDivorce@saccourt.ca.gov.
If you are interested in becoming a Judge Pro Tem, please visit our Temporary Judge Program web page for more information and an application.