The judgment of dissolution form or FL-180 plays a critical role in the divorce judgment, legal separation judgment, or a judgment that nullifies marriages. It’s the one form that works in all these three types of court judgments. Continue reading to find out what this form entails and how to properly fill it up.
What To Do Before Filling up FL-180
Before filling out the FL-180 form, you must have already performed the following steps: filed your divorce petition, exchanged your preliminary declaration of disclosures, negotiated a settlement agreement with your spouse, and reduced your agreements into writing using either the Marital Settlement agreement approach or using the collection of Judicial Council forms method.
After this, you can now prepare your judgment of dissolution using the judgment form FL-180. However, you must learn all about this judgment form before filling it out to avoid any untoward consequences.
What Is FL180?
The judgment of dissolution form or FL-180 consists of a two-page court form called judgment. You will attach to the FL-180 form either a marital settlement agreement that you signed or the collection of the Judicial Council court forms.
In this case, the necessary Judicial Council court forms include the property order attachment to judgment form (FL-345) and the spousal, partner or family support attachment form (FL-343). You’ll also need to attach the stipulation for entry of judgment form that you and your spouse signed with signatures notarized.
Remember, however, that the stipulation for entry of judgment is not a Judicial Council court form. It is simply a word document that you can find in the court forms database.
How To Fill Out Form FL-180
You’ll find a blank judgment of dissolution form, FL-180, in the court forms database that you can fill out and print for free. You can complete three versions from this one blank judgment of dissolution form. The three versions exist because how you fill out this judgment of dissolution depends on the type of judgment you intend to submit to the court.
The first version involves using the marital settlement agreement approach. The second version entails utilizing the collection of the Judicial Council forms method to set forth your settlement agreement, and the third version assumes there is no settlement agreement and the case you want to process has a valid default.
After getting your blank FL-180 form:
- Complete it by checking various boxes on the paper and filling in the appropriate blanks.
- After completing this, print your FL-180 form.
- Attach either your marital settlement or your collection of the various Judicial Council forms to the document.
Also, remember to include child support in your settlement agreement if you have children that are still minors. If your settlement includes any child support provisions, then the law requires you to attach an FL-192 form to your FL-180 form. Taking this step does not matter whether you’re using the marital settlement agreement approach or the judicial Council forms approach.
What Is the FL-192 Form?
The FL 192 form refers to a two-page document that you can quickly fill out. The first page describes the procedures you should follow for reimbursement of the children’s health care costs. The following page of this FL 192 explains that a child support order is a judgment part and allows child support modification if significant change situations occur in the future.
The second page of this FL 192 also explains how to modify child support. You don’t need to fill out anything on this form. Just go to the court forms database, find the FL 192 form, print it, and attach it to your FL 180. Remember, you can skip this step if you don’t have minor children from your marriage.
Stipulation for Entry of Judgment
There’s another form to attach to your FL 180 if you’re using the Judicial Council forms approach to set forth your divorce settlement agreement. Stipulation for entry of judgment is the name of this form, and you don’t need this form if you’re using the marital settlement agreement approach for your judgment dissolution.
If you’re using the Judicial Council forms approach for your form FL-180, you will need both parties to sign the document. This document confirms that you both agree to all of the provisions in the Judicial Council forms. So where can you get this Judicial Council document?
Some counties have a local form you can use for this purpose, which is one of the few word documents available. You need to fill out the name of your case as well as the case number and check the different boxes for the various Judicial Councils you intend to be part of your FL-180 form. Print the form after you’ve filled everything out, and you will attach this stipulation for entry of judgment form to your FL 180 form.
You and your spouse should sign the stipulation for entry of judgment form and notarize your signatures. The court will not accept the document or the judgment if the form features unnotarized signatures.
Why the Court Can Reject Your FL 180 Form
Never allow common mistakes to drive your divorce case to unnecessary delays. Prepare yourself to receive FL 180 back if you omitted the required forms or failed to add the required details on the form.
Also, be prepared to get your form FL-180 back if it doesn’t give clear information on what you want.
The common issues that you’re likely to face when completing a legal separation/divorce case using this form include:
FL 180 Rejected
Always ensure that the information (debt/property information) provided on the FL 180 form matches the details you included on the property/petition declaration form.
Aside from this, the court can reject your FL-180 form if the property divisions you have requested do not give the spouses equal benefits. Prepare to receive your FL 180 form back if you have not issued enough details about your finances. The court can also reject the documents if you fail to give detailed information relating to the parenting plan to provide support orders.
If the case involves a local child support organization, you should ensure that the agency has approved the proposed support payments. Prepare to get your forms back if you were not able to do this.
Avoid Common Mistakes
You’re likely to face challenges when navigating the divorce process, but don’t worry about this because the court clerk will always issue written instructions. With these instructions, you’ll learn all the things you need to handle for the court to accept your forms.
1. FL 180 must appear on the first page
Make sure that your judgment package features the FL-180 form as the cover sheet. Therefore, when using a marital settlement agreement, the FL-180 format must appear first before the MSA.
2. Have one original FL 180 form and three copies
Before forwarding the FL-180 form, ensure you have one original FL-180 and three copies of this document. Prepare to get your judgment rejected if you can’t provide these three copies.
3. Matching names must be written
The names appearing on the judgment must match the ones on the Petition. Always ensure the identities appearing on the Summons and Petition also appear on each of the court forms.
4. Correct dates must be written
Ensure the jurisdiction date denotes the day you served the respondent with the Petition or when the respondent appeared. For the service date, go through the proof of service to get precise information about when the service occurred.
Signing FL-180 Form
Remember, there are different types of divorce, which include having a default, uncontested, and default with an agreement divorce. Each divorce case follows specific requirements and has different signatures. You’ll realize that the FL 180 form has a signature line on page 2, but the respondent needs to sign the document if the case involves two parties and the paper doesn’t include a response.
So how will the parties sign on that one signature line? In this case, you should ensure the last part of your judgment is the signature page. For the default with an agreement case, the respondent should have his/her signature on the signature page and notarize it.
So if no response came from the respondent, then ensure that the paper has a signature page with the respondent’s signature notarized because you cannot forward the FL-180 form with only your page 2 signature.
- Follow FL 180 instructions carefully. After filling out your form FL 180, you should move to the next step of assembling the divorce judgment form. It is important to follow the specific sequence of the process.
- Start with the FL-180 form and the stipulation for entry of judgment and then the rest of the forms.
- There are no specific steps to follow from this point on. Most people prefer adding child custody forms, child support forms, spousal support forms and property division forms.
Filing an FL-180 form can be confusing and intimidating, but if you read this article and follow the instructions, we’re sure you’ll find yourself going through it in a breeze.
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