The first steps in responding to divorce papers
If your spouse has served with you divorce papers, you may be asking what happens next.
If my spouse served me with divorce papers, what do I do now?You have 30 days to file a Response to the Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage. If you have children under 18, you must also file a Declaration Under Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act. The filing fee in Orange County is $435. You must also serve these papers on your spouse.
What happens if I don't answer the divorce papers?If you fail to respond to the divorce petition, your spouse can obtain a default judgment against you. This means the court will set the terms of the divorce and enter judgment based only on information provided by your spouse, regardless of the fact that you have not been heard.