Among the first requirements for divorce in California is filing a petition for divorce and have it served to your spouse or partner for a response. But what happens if they refuse to respond?
We’ll talk about it in this issue.
What Does California Law Say About Not Signing Divorce Papers?
According to California law, the spouse or partner that was served divorce papers has 30 days to file a response. If there isn’t a response and there’s no written agreement already in place, the case will be classified as “True Default.”
What Happens in a True Default Divorce?
For the spouse or partner who filed the divorce petition, the case will most likely proceed and end with the conditions (custody, alimony, property division, etc.) they ask for in the petition.
After the 30 days have passed, the petitioner will need to file a series of forms to complete the divorce. The forms cover topics including:
- Child custody
- Supervised visitation
- Holiday schedule
- Child support information
- Pension benefits
- Property and asset division
- Income and expense declaration
You can download these forms from directly from the California Courts site.
Are There Pros and Cons to a True Default Divorce?
Yes, as with most things in life, there are pros and cons to a True Default divorce.
While True Default is a relatively easy and clean way to end your case if you have few shared assets and no children, you may actually fare better if your lawyer has the opportunity to cross-examine your spouse or partner under oath.
What Happens If Spouse/Partner Doesn’t Respond But You’re Both in Agreement?
If you and your spouse/partner are working towards an agreement, you can choose to pursue either a True default or Default With Agreement divorce.
While a Default With Agreement divorce is still a Default case, the difference is that your spouse/partner will be participating with you.
The benefits of a Default With Agreement divorce is that they’re fairly easy to be approved by the Court since both parties are involved; there’s no public record of property division, and equal division of property is not automatic.
If You’re a Man Facing Divorce, Call The Men’s Legal Center
There is a host of options and things to consider when filing for and going through a divorce. That’s why it’s crucial to have someone on your side to help you navigate your way.