She filed a petition for divorce and I responded. I'm in the midst of preparing disclosure information. What is the next step?

Asked almost 4 years ago - El Cajon, CA

She filed for divorce in the California. I filed a response and via a third party sent her the response with an acknowledgment of receipt form that she did not sign and return. Since I sent the response via certified/return receipt mail which indicated she received it, does it matter whether she returns the acknowledgment form? Additionally, I sent the court the response to her petition, a filing fee, and a proof of service by mail by a third party. In general, how long does it take the court system to set and notify both parties of a court date?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. 1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . After completing financial disclosures, you need to work on settling all the issues in your case, then do a settlement agreement and file the final judgment paperwork. The Court does NOT automatically set a hearing date unless you request one by filing moving papers - generally an Order to Show Cause. If you have children and need custody orders, you can file a motion and then the Court will set a hearing date and refer you to Family Court services for orientation and mediation. If you only have property issues, then you can either agree on how to divide the marital property or you can have a hearing, again by filing a motion, and ask the Court to decide if you cannot agree. I would recommend consulting an attorney if there are major property issues or children's issues that you cannot reconcile between you.

  2. 1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yes, indeed, the filing of petitions and responses does not trigger hearings. That said, eventually the court will set a case management conference and notify both parties to come in and inform the court as to whether discovery is done, should a trial date be set, etc. Generally, after your mandatory disclosures are exchanged, a meeting to negotiate settlement is done. If no settlement is reached the court may set a mandatory settlement conference and a senior volunteer lawyer will try to mediate a settlement. Lastly, there can be a trial, but it is expensive and time consuming.

Related Topics


Divorce is the process of formally ending a marriage. Divorces may be jointly agreed upon, resolved by negotiation, or decided in court.

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