Your spouse served you divorce papers, and after processing your initial reaction, you’re ready to respond. However, you realize you know nothing about the divorce process, and you’re unsure of your response options.
Thankfully, you found this Law Offices of Christopher Hoglin blog post! In this post, we will talk about how a respondent (the person who’s served divorce papers) can proceed after being served.
Potential Responses to a California Divorce
Important First Step!
Before determining your answer, you need to read over the Petition. The petition tells you what your spouse or domestic partner is asking for in the outcome of your divorce. Therefore, carefully reading this form will help you determine your response. If you don’t understand any portion of the petition, you should call an experienced divorce attorney as soon as possible.
If you agree with what the petitioner is asking for in the petition, you can choose to do nothing (also called defaulting.) When you default on a divorce, you give up your right to participate in the case. In other words, the defaulter doesn’t do anything regarding the divorce process.
When someone defaults on a divorce, he or she will never have to go to court. Instead of talking to both parties, the judge will base his or her decision concerning property division, child support, and child visitation (if applicable) solely on what the spouse or domestic partner requested in the Petition.
As you can see a “true default” is simple, but it means you as a respondent have no say in the divorce. However, if you want a say in the divorce, it’s time to look at other options.
If you disagree with some of the criteria in the petition, you can talk to your spouse or domestic partner about these issues before you respond. Supposing you and the petitioner work out the kinks of the petition, you can then file a response.
In this situation, you are not filing a response to fight your spouse but are filing to let the court know that both of you have come to terms with the outcome of the divorce. Your response will show that you agree with the decision to get divorced and that you are a willing participant in the proceedings.
As you and the other party worked out the kinks without fighting in court or otherwise, the divorce is considered “uncontested.”
If you disagree with the petition and have little hope of figuring things out with the other party without going to court, you’re facing a “contested divorce” scenario. In this situation, you will file a response with the court saying you disagree with the demands of the petition.
Need Help Filing Your Response?
What happens if you want to file a response but aren’t sure of what to do next? The next best step is to contact an experienced divorce attorney who can help you come to a decision.
Our firm can help you respond to your divorce papers. We offer free consultations so you can meet us before you decide on your representation!
Call (626) 653-4075 now to speak to an attorney at no cost to you!