If you are able to afford it, we really do recommend getting some level of attorney assistance, be it document preparation/review or traditional legal representation. However, educating yourself about the process is a good idea not only as a cost-saving measure, but in order to add to your level of comfort in handling your particular legal situation. Here are some excellent resources:
Nolo Press: This publishing house out of Berkeley, CA publishes very good books and resources for non-attorneys trying to navigate the legal system. Even if you have an attorney, educating yourself with their materials can save you time and money, since your attorney won’t have to bring you up to speed on all areas of law and procedure. Their website is: www.nolo.com
Law Libraries: Great information resources, law libraries also usually have a substantial collection of Nolo books.
Placer County Law Library (Sparks Law Library): 1523 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603 (530) 823-2573 www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/Library/LawLib
Sacramento County Law Library: 609 Ninth Street, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 874-6012 www.saclaw.lib.ca.us
The Courts: The courts can offer considerable help, in the form of online instructions and information, and through their Self Help Centers/Facilitator’s office. (I used to work for the Placer County Self-Help Center!) While the services a private attorney can offer you are more complete, convenient and detail-oriented, these Help Centers are a great resource. Please note that Self Help Centers cannot assist customers who are represented by an attorney.
Placer County Superior Court: www.placer.courts.ca.gov
Sacramento County Superior Court: www.saccourt.ca.gov
DVD: Placer County Superior Court has a DVD called “How to Do Your Own Divorce Without Shooting Yourself in the Foot.” You can purchase it at the Placer County Courthouse for $10, and it is available for rent at all Placer County public libraries. It is a great overview of the issues involved in a divorce case.