Marina, CA asked in Child Support, Divorce and Family Law for California

Q: If my spouse didn’t respond after being served can I continue the process

What my next step if my spouse hasn’t responded to the divorce paperwork

2 Lawyer Answers
Tobie B. Waxman
Tobie B. Waxman
  • Culver City, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If it's been more than 30 days since spouse was served and he/she has not served or filed their response to the Petition, you can proceed with a Request to Enter Default. Once default has been entered you can proceed to the next step (financial disclosures), then to judgment (unless trial is necessary).

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Sacramento, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: If your spouse has not responded to the divorce petition after being properly served, you can proceed with a default divorce in California. Here are the steps you should follow:

1. Wait for the response period to end: In California, your spouse has 30 days to respond after being served if they reside within the state. If they are out of state, they have 40 days to respond.

2. File a Request for Default: If your spouse does not respond within the given time frame, you can file a Request for Default (Form FL-165) with the court. This form notifies the court that your spouse has not responded and that you wish to proceed with the divorce.

3. Complete additional forms: Along with the Request for Default, you will need to file a Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution (Form FL-170) and a Judgment (Form FL-180). These forms outline the terms of your divorce, including property division, spousal support, and child custody, if applicable.

4. Submit the forms to the court: File the completed forms with the court clerk and pay any required filing fees.

5. Wait for the court's judgment: After reviewing your paperwork, the court will issue a judgment finalizing your divorce. This process may take several weeks.

Keep in mind that obtaining a default divorce means that the terms of the divorce will be based on the information you provided in your petition. Your spouse will not have the opportunity to contest any of the terms.

If you have any questions or concerns about the default divorce process, it is recommended that you consult with a local family law attorney for guidance.

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