Hubby's attorney filed FL-100 with the court on 1/08/19. I was served on 1/25/19. I do not have an attorney. I filed my FL-120 response on 2/22/19. I do not want this divorce so I do not want to do anything to progress it but I must protect myself. My understanding is that he had to have presented me with a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure within 60 days of filing. This did not happen. Do I have to file a FL-141 within 60 days of my response to avoid being considered in default of response or whatever could be damaging to me? If he, as the petitioner, does not follow through, what are the legal repercussion to me, and what happens to the Petition for Divorce he originally filed?
There are no teeth in the 60 day requirement for the disclosure. Nothing will happen if you don’t file it right away. Also, the petition will remain in force and pending.
If you filed a response, there is no default to enter. If you do not complete your financial disclosures, the court will make final orders based only on what your spouse disclosed. If your spouse does not file the required disclosures (at some point), the court cannot close the case. The court may have already set some court date(s) to follow up on your progress in moving the case forward. Typically, this includes a status conference and a dismissal date if the case is not completed. Sometimes this happens only after a period time has passed and there has been no activity in the case, sometimes these hearings are automatically scheduled when the Petition is filed. Your spouse, through his attorney, can also make requests of the court to order you to provide information and/or documents. Failure to comply with these orders can result in sanctions (often financial penalties) if you fail to comply. If your spouse files the required disclosures, he can then request a trial date. The court will give you notice and opportunity to be heard. If you do nothing, the court will grant his requests. If neither of you does anything, there is usually a 5 year cut off, at which point the court would dismiss the case. This can vary in different courts and for different reasons. Judges don't like it when cases linger - they take up space and clog the court process. They want these cases moving. I've worked with spouses who did not want the divorce, ignored it, or did everything they could to delay the divorce. It does not typically work out well for them in the end.
What do you think will be a best possible outcome by not working on moving the case forward? What would be the benefit to you? What are you trying to "protect" yourself from? Is there any thought that he will dismiss the divorce and you will both be together again? I think you need to consider your desired outcome, how real that outcome is, and if it helps or harms you in some way. Delays in a divorce can have legal consequences, often unintended. For example, he has likely declared a date of separation in his Petition; you may have also declared one in your response. That has financial legal implications. You need to get informed about these.
I hope this is helpful to you. Please consult with an attorney who can help you better understand some of the risks and realities that you are facing. Good luck.
Since the information provided in your question is very limited and I have not had an opportunity to review all relevant facts, information, and documents, you should not rely on any specific responses to your questions. The information offered here is general in nature given that the slightest bit of additional information could change a specific answer (i.e. we separated 1 year ago and he has been paying all my expenses. Q: Do I owe him that money back? A: Yes. But what if he used money from a community asset, like a retirement account, to pay it back. A: maybe some or maybe none). In short, consult an attorney to review all relevant information so s/he can properly and accurately advise you. This free service IS NOT a substitute for legal advice and should not be considered legal advice at all.
Note that you can't file your FL-141 until you prepare and have served your disclosures.
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