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Is a court appearance for a stipulated divorce judgement required?

Los Angeles, CA |

I responded to the divorce petition 10 months ago, but have not filed preliminary disclosures yet. I also was not able to appear at the trial setting conference twice (which was continued) and did not answer any discovery questions of my spouse. The motion to compel discovery is coming soon.

My spouse is ready to pay one-time alimony (2 years of marriage, no kids). However, I have never appeared in front of the judge in court. My spouse told me to file preliminary disclosures in court so that he can file a stipulated judgment. I am planning to file preliminary disclosures in court, sign the stipulation, and get the alimony check from him. If I do this, will I be required to appear before the judge in court, or can the judgment be done without my presence?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    I agree with the other answers. Since you responded to the divorce Petition, you have to complete your preliminary disclosures, including an Income and Expense Declaration and Schedule of Assets and Debts, and serve them on your spouse. You also have to file proof that you did so with the Court.

    Assuming you are in agreement with the terms of the stipulated judgment and all the necessary paperwork is submitted to court, you do not need to appear in court.

    The stipulated judgment should include that your spouse is withdrawing the motion to compel discovery responses or that agreement can be filed as a separate stipulation.

    I advise you to have the stipulated judgment reviewed by a family law attorney to make sure your the terms are fair or at the very least so you can make an informed decision.

    If you do not appear in court when the stipulated judgment is filed, you must immediately get an endorsed filed copy of the Judgment to make sure your spouse filed the judgment you agreed to and signed.

    Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, as each situation is fact specific, and it is not possible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and court pleadings filed in the case. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship


  2. My thoughts are get your disclosures to your spouse. Some disclosures can be waived but if your spouse wants them then submit them. They are not that hard.

    He can't file a stipulated judgment without your signature since you are stipulating to all of this anyway. You should really consult an attorney before stipulating...

    This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.


  3. If the parties proceed by way of stipulated judgment, a court appearance will not be necessary. The court will not sign a juidgment unless both parties have filed their respective declarations regarding service of the preliminary declaration of disclosure. If you want to avoid a court hearing and the terms of the stipulated judgment are acceptable to you, proceed with your diclsoures.


  4. If you execute a stipulated judgment, file your Preliminary Declaration, and get an agreement from your ex to take his motion to compel off calendar if you agree to the stipulation and file your PDD, then you probably won't have to appear. But, why are you hiding in getting these things done?


  5. Assuming you have each exchanged the necessary disclosures, and you file a stipulated judgment that contains all of the agreed upon terms that would conclude each issue of your marriage, you could simply submit it to the court and wait for it to be returned with a judge's signature. Note that many districts have NO budget and it can take months to get it returned. Worse, if you make an error or don't have the proper forms filed, it will be returned, to be corrected. You the have to file it again, and wait again, so try to get it right! If you don't settle the case, resolve the discovery issue as that can hurt your ability to present evidence As a result of an adverse ruling on a motion.

    The comments made here are meant to direct you to receive local consultation from an attorney in your area and ask proper, detailed questions to get the best legal advice upon which you can take appropriate action.

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