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Divorce can become quite complicated in California, and often can become more convoluted when one spouse refuses to respond to divorce papers.
While there are many reasons why the filing spouse may be left waiting for a response, some of the most common reasons are that the other spouse is in denial that a divorce is taking place.
Other spouses may believe they will get their spouse to change his or her mind about the divorce and assume by refusing to acknowledge the paperwork, they may be able to do just that.
Some use these occasions for leverage while others intentionally drag out the process to make the other suffer.
Divorce is unique to each couple, and when one person refuses to respond to the petition, it is not the end of the world — he or she is only delaying the inevitable.
If your spouse believes that their refusal to respond to divorce papers means you cannot get divorced, they are wrong.
While it takes two people to get married, it only takes one to get divorced. And with the help of our Los Angeles family law attorneys, we will approach your divorce using the best process available for your unique circumstances.
Continue To Move Forward With the California Divorce Process
If you have served your spouse with a legal petition for divorce and he or she is not responding, your divorce may be granted by default in California.
A default divorce means the other person is giving up their right to have a say in the proceedings, and that the finalization can go on without them.
Failing to respond will not stop the divorce from occurring, it will simply end in a true default divorce.
Frequently Asked Questions about If Spouse Is Not Responding To Divorce Papers
What Is A True Default Divorce In California?
The California Courts decide that a true default divorce occurs when three things are true:
- The spouse who is served with divorce papers does not respond
- There is no written agreement in place outlining the terms of a divorce settlement
- More than 30 days have passed since the petition and summons was served
To proceed with the default divorce process, the filing spouse will need to complete the following forms, which can be easily accomplished with an experienced divorce attorney in Los Angeles.
They include a:
- Request to enter default
- Declaration for default
- Judgment form
- Notice of entry of judgment form
If you are seeking child custody, child support, spousal support, and other items related to the division of community property, our skilled Los Angles divorce attorneys will prepare the paperwork for you.
Typically, when a marriage is in true default, the court will award the filing spouse with what is outlined in their orders, so it is important that no detail is left to chance.
The non-responding spouse will lose the opportunity to make arguments related to how assets are divided or how custody and financial support is decided.
True default divorces are for those who are getting no response from their spouses during the filing process. If your spouse is in the military or is incarcerated, the filing requirements may differ and will require a specialized approach to produce results.
Contact our Los Angeles County divorce attorneys at the Land Legal Group to learn how we can guide you through the legal process by calling 310-552-3500 today to learn how we pursue results for each of our client’s unique circumstances without delay.
What is a Default Divorce in California?
If one spouse does not file a response to divorce papers, the other spouse can request a default. This means asking the California family court to decide the case without the other’s input. During a default divorce in California, the court makes the final decisions based on the information from the filing spouse provides, and what the law says, without hearing the other spouse’s side.
What is the Default Divorce Process in California?
The California default divorce process is as follows:
- One spouse files for divorce in California and serves the other with the petition to divorce papers.
- When no divorce agreement was in place and more than 30 days have passed since the petition and summons were served, the filing spouse may complete forms to request to enter default, and a declaration for default. This process also includes filing a judgment form, and a notice of entry of judgment form.
- There may be additional forms necessary when asking for a custody order, child support, spousal support, and forms related to the division of community property.
- The court will review the forms and will then move forward to dissolve the marriage.
- The spouse who did not respond to the divorce petition will lose the opportunity to make arguments related to custody, support, and how assets are divided.
Do I Have to Serve California Divorce Papers More Than Once?
When you serve divorce papers to your spouse, you must notify your partner that you’d like to dissolve your marriage through the California courts. You cannot personally give your spouse these important documents. Instead, another adult must hand your spouse a copy of the papers you filed. This server then completes a form about the process and gives it to the court, documenting that the formal process is complete. If you serve a petition for divorce in California properly, there will be no need to serve them twice.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Divorce by Default in California?
In California, the petitioning spouse may proceed with the divorce without the defendant’s participation if the defendant receives the divorce papers but fails to respond within 30 days.
What is a Divorce Default Judgment in California?
At the default hearing the judge will make orders regarding all the issues in your case including the status of your marriage, custody, and visitation of your children, child support, spousal support, and division of assets and debts. The spouse who did not respond to the divorce petition will lose the opportunity to make arguments related to any of these details, and a judgment will be rendered in favor of the compliant spouse.