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No response to divorce petition. Default divorce?

Yucaipa, CA |

My spouse did not file a response to the divorce petition. No assets or debts were listed (there are none as far as I know, we've been seperated for 5yrs) We have children, he has reasonable visitation and I am not asking for support. Is this a true default case? Also, because he didn't respond, do I still need to fill out and file all the financial forms (FL-140, 142 and 150)? I doubt he will provide any of this info as he is currently unemployed.

Attorney Answers 3


If your ex does not file a response, then the only way to finish your divorce is by way of default.
Yes, you must still fill out, and file and serve, all the financial documents.

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

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Was he properly served? If so, you must file Proof of Service, and then proceed to file an Entry of Default. Because custody is involved, your county court may require a Default hearing. I would hire an attorney. If you cannot afford one, I would read your local rules, do all the research you can, and utilize the Family Law self-help services that many courts offer.

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First question – was he served with the divorce, and have you satisfied the requirements of service of process?

It sounds like a default case, but, to be safe, I certainly hope that you are not trying to file a divorce action by yourself.

Consult your local attorney, because the money that you save today by doing it yourself is about 1/6 of the money that you will spend for the attorney that you hired to clean up the mess that you made because it was not done correctly the first time.

Remember that the Judge and the Court cannot give you legal advice, the Clerks cannot help you fill out forms, and they cannot represent you, since they are hearing the case, and must be neutral.

An uncontested divorce by default is not expensive, but try to hire an attorney to clean up a mess made by pro se litigants, and you will find that the price tag gets to be very expensive. Good luck.

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