Does paying the $350 to "respond" to an uncontested divorce speed up the overall divorce process in California?

Asked over 5 years ago - Oakland, CA

My spouse and I have an amicable divorce. Since we already agreed on how to split our items and my husband has submitted a plea paper to make sure he does not get half of the land I purchased prior to our marriage (he doesn't want it and CA is a community property state), should he still respond to the divorce paperwork since it's uncontested? Will officially responding speed up the overall time it takes to finalize our divorce? We hate to spend yet another $350 when it's uncontested unless it will speed up the process.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Annaluisa Padilla

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . Did you file the Summons & Petition? If so, you are the petitioner and your husband is the respondent. Your statement that “your husband submitted a plea paper to make sure that he does not get 1/2 of your land” is a bit confusing. What has he filed with the court? Is he the petitioner?

    In any event, the Petitioner must have served the respondent with the summons & petition and filed a proof of service of summons with the court. The respondent has 30 days to respond from the date of service. If the respondent does not respond, the petitioner can take a default of the respondent and prepare the agreement on how the community property will be divided in addition to custody and support if children are involved.

    The court cannot grant your divorce until 6 months and one day after the date you filed your petition. Having the respondent file a response would not necessarily speed up the process. Depending on how quickly the court you filed in can process your divorce, the processing of your judgment may take a few weeks or a few months. You may submit your judgment before the six months period and the court will process it, but your dissolution date as reflected in the judgment will still be 6-months and one day after the date you filed your petition.

    There are certain requirements to submitting a default judgment — make sure you check with your court’s family law facilitator or the self-help center for assistance.

  2. Sondra Ellyn Bennaeim

    Contributor Level 12

    Answered . If your husband does not respond within the prescribed time, you will be able to take a default out. At that point whatever you have asked for in your paperwork will be how the property division, etc. is calculated. It will not save you any time. It still will take 6 months from the time he was served with papers to obtain your divorce.

  3. Ryan Patrick McClure

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . Regardless of whether he responds to the petition and summons the divorce will take 6 months to be resolved so I don't think his actions are going to speed anything up.

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