One-Day Divorce - Sacramento Superior Court

Family Law icon Project Name: One-Day Divorce
Court: Sacramento Superior Court
   Documents: News Release
   Links: News Story and Video

Overview/Program Description:

The One Day Divorce Program helps low-income, self-represented litigants complete their dissolutions of marriage and obtain final judgments in one day. Volunteer attorneys and law students partner with the litigants to prepare all of the paperwork necessary for the final judgments. The litigants then appear before the judge and have their judgments entered on the record. Litigants leave with a final judgment in hand. Two days per month, the court provides assistance to cooperative couples or single parties whose spouses have defaulted to complete their divorces in one day.

To prepare for the program, the court held an orientation and training event and invited law students from three local schools, temporary judges who work on settlement conferences, and attorneys with fewer than 10 years of experience. Through this outreach effort and attendance at various bar functions we have utilized over 70 volunteers who support this program. The high number of qualified and supportive volunteers was not anticipated.

Program Benefits/Savings:

Success is measured through the feedback from litigants who have participated in the program. Litigants' testimonials have included:

  • "I always had the feeling that the system was out to get me. Today the system was actually working for me."
  • "The lawyers made the process a lot more effective. No more time off work, back and forth to court. Judge flat out Got It Done."
  • "This class took away my stress of dealing with this by myself. Thank you guys very much."
  • "Frankly, I think this was a miracle."

These are just a few examples of how the program helps litigants complete their divorces. No negative feedback has been received from the participants who complete their judgments through this program.

The program has eliminated cases from the court's docket, freeing space for more difficult cases to be addressed.