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Anyone going through a Divorce can attest to how stressful and complicated the process can be. This much is obvious.

Time and time again, studies have shown that getting a divorce is often one of the most stressful life events. To make matters worse, many find themselves in a less than amicable divorce, with a spouse who may say that they will “refuse to sign the divorce papers” when they are served.

 

Spouse wont sign divorce papers

For some reason, Hollywood seems to be obsessed with ‘signing Divorce papers’ and creating a variety of intrigues surrounding this task. Many soon-to-be-divorced couples may envision they too may have one of these dramatic divorces as perpetuated in the media, but the truth is, thinking you need your spouse to “cooperate” by signing papers, or somehow “agreeing” to the divorce, is false.

What does it mean to be an “uncooperative spouse”?

When someone states that their spouse is “uncooperative” they are usually referring to:

  1. the spouse or respondent does not wish to sign the ‘proof of service’
  2. the spouse does not wish to be divorced
  3. the spouse does not agree on issues that the parties may have

…but when it comes to divorce in California, it can be finalized even if the spouse does not want to “sign the divorce papers”, be divorced or agree on issues!

What to do when your spouse won’t sign the ‘proof of service’?

  1. have a friend or family member (not a child of the marriage) serve the spouse
  2. arrange for a process server to serve the spouse
  3. arrange for a sheriff to serve the spouse

Remember, ‘service’ is the start of the divorce! The court requires a ‘proof of service’ which is a formal notification that a divorce petition has been filed. It is mandatory that service is made, but the spouse or respondent does NOT need to sign anything as the other people listed above will do that!

In California, a divorce can proceed through the courts, and can be finalized…even if the spouse refuses to sign any papers.  

Here’s how it works:

  1. Petitioner files for divorce
  2. Petitioner serves spouse–if spouse refuses to sign proof of service or does not appear to be cooperative, spouse can be served by someone over the age of 18 (not a child of the marriage) or by a process server or sheriff; in this case the person who serves, signs and dates the Proof of Service; the spouse simply receives the paperwork
  3. Spouse may not wish to respond or do anything with regard to the papers served; if this occurs and the 30 days to respond have passed, the petitioner can then file  ‘default’ paperwork with the courts
  4. If there are issues that need to be resolved, the petitioner (not the respondent) will go before the judge and he/she will usually make a decision based on what is reasonable.
  5. If there are no issues to be resolved, the petitioner may not have to appear in court at all; the divorce would be finalized without an appearance

What if your spouse does not wish to be divorced?

You can still get divorced. Arrange for someone else (not a child of the marriage) to serve your spouse. Wait the 30 days and then file a ‘default’ when he does not respond (meaning he does not file a ‘response’ with the court). If you have no issues (support, custody, If you have no issues (support, custody, division of assets & debts) then in most courts you will be divorced without going to court. If you have issues you will go to a ‘default’ hearing and the judge will make a ruling (your spouse will not be invited).

However, if your spouse does respond then you will need to go to trial unless, during the divorce process, the spouse is willing to cooperate and sign a ‘stipulated judgment’ which is an agreement with regard to any and all issues.

What if you cannot agree on issues like support, custody etc.?

You can go to court for temporary orders by filing a Request for Order and then file for a trial date. In these instances, the judge will make a ruling on all issues.


 

Questions about your divorce? Give us a call – we are here to help!

1-800-HELP-444


 

Why a default divorce is a good thing:

A ‘default divorce’ is a divorce in which the respondent (the spouse being served) does not respond i.e. he/she does not sign and file the ‘response to dissolution of marriage’ paperwork. The respondent has 30 days to ‘respond’ and once the 30 days is up, the petitioner can enter a default.

A ‘default divorce’ can be a good thing as it finalizes the divorce relatively quickly and cheaply. If there are no issues, a default divorce is usually finalized within the 6 month & 1 day time frame (from the date of service) and most often without a court appearance. When there are issues, a default hearing is scheduled for only the petitioner (the respondent is not invited), a lawyer is usually not needed and the judge makes a ruling based on only the petitioner’s testimony.

Default divorces are very common in California. It is one way that divorces are finalized when the respondent does not wish to agree or dispute.  If the petitioner goes to court, he/she does not require an attorney because the opposing party is not in the courtroom.

However, if the non-cooperative spouse decides to respond when served, then the divorce is contested. Most contested divorces end in a trial–but not all. Even if the spouse responds, an agreement on issues can still be made. This would involve a ‘stipulated judgment’ which is simply an agreement that is prepared after the spouse responds. It’s a good idea to have the Attorney prepare this to assure that all issues are addressed and that a court appearance is avoided.

There are times when a respondent ‘responds’ when there is no need i.e. there are no issues to address. When this happens, a short agreement can be prepared and filed with the final paperwork so that the divorce can be finalized without a trial.


If you have a spouse who will not cooperate, our experienced Attorneys can advise you and suggest reasonable options.

1-800-HELP-444.

We offer low flat fees for divorce.!

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Comments

  1. Hi my is richard I started my divorce in 2005 the defendant didn’t respond now it the statute has run out but its still in the system the court said if me and the defendant give a notarized statement stating we both still wish to go forward with the divorce the court will concider it but she won’t respond once again I have sent three certified letters requesting a statement from her she ses she’s going to do it but she keep making excuses wy she hasn’t done it . Plaese help

    • Richard:
      Give us a call @ 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) to discuss. Your spouse does not need to cooperate if she did not Respond when served. If this is the case, it is a ‘default’ divorce. If this is not the case i.e. she responded, then you will need to request a trial date. We can help you…give us a call.
      Brenda
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

    • Richard:
      Your spouse does not need to ‘respond’. However, the court does need a proof of service. It sounds like you will need to start the divorce all over again as she is not cooperating. If she does not respond once the 30 day time frame is over, you would need to enter a ‘default’ to finalize the divorce. Please call us at 1-800-HELP-444 (1-800-435-7444) to discuss.
      Thanks!

  2. what can you do if your spouse refuses to sign the final divorce settlement when you both waved all financials?

    • Kelly:
      This is a good question. Is your spouse refusing to sign the Marital Settlement Agreement or Stipulated Judgment? We would need more information, but generally speaking if he does not wish to sign these documents, you may have to go to trial. If you wish to discuss, please call our offices @ 818-630-5503 Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

  3. What if my spouse will not present tax documents for our divorce? He is primary and uncooperative… And there is a protective order in place against him.

    • Ginger:
      If you can get a copy of a recent tax return, that would be ideal. You can also guess as to what he earns. If you are requesting spousal support and/or child support then he would need to come forward with proof of earnings. It would be best to give us a call @ 1-800-HELP-444 so that we can assess your situation i.e. are you the petitioner, did the respondent respond, are you asking for temporary orders, do you have an attorney, does he have an attorney etc.?
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

  4. What if the respondent spouse (actually non responding), has a 401k or SEP IRA or Roth IRA? Will the judge make a judgement on that also? Will I have to subpoena a report on this?
    Thank you.

    • If your spouse has not responded after the 30 day time period then you have a ‘default’ divorce and if you have issues, you will require a ‘default’ hearing before the judge. Your spouse should have been served with an ‘income & expense/assets & debts’ form that he needs to fill out. This would have the information regarding his retirement plan. If he did not fill it out, you can guess as to what is in that (you may look at a recent tax return). You may also call the plan if you have information on it. This is an issue in the divorce & the judge will need to rule on it as well as any other issues.

  5. Please help me I am sending a certified request for divorce but spouse tells me he will not sign and I will be left “with nothing on the streets” including the second car he bought during our marriage for me (which in California is determined community property between us). I have been unemployed for more than 5 years due to a mental disability and we have been married for 3 years but lived together for 12. I don’t recieve any firm of government aid or SSI although I filed twice with my doctor’s signature AND fee. I will need this car to go back to work, even house cleaning so I can move away from him and hire a lawyer for request of temporary spousal support and lawyer/court fees. Also he is refusing to show me any of his taxes although he claims me as a dependant. Isnt this illegal? how can I obtain a copy of his taxes on my own? he is extremely verbally abusive and lying and cheating. i need to get out now for the sake of my sanity. Even pushing aside my agoraphobia so I can work to pay for these legal fees and basic shelter. please respond, I will have money soon enough.

    • It doesn’t sound like you are doing the process correctly. First, for divorce, the only dates that matter are the date of marriage and date of separation. Second, to serve the spouse (if he lives in the same state) when he is not cooperative–he should be served by a ‘process server’ or another adult. Have you spoken with an attorney so you understand the process and your legal rights? Where are you located? You may call me @ 818-630-5503 to discuss.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  6. Hi I had papers served to my spouse and had proof of service registered with the court. She did not file a response. I have a pension that I can claim in about 6 years. I have also been very generous and have kept her on my insurance for her medical issues for 4 years since our separation. She has verbally said she will not go after my pension or alimony but she is on permanent disability and don’t trust her word. Not to mention she has not cooperated, filed a response, or shown up at the paralegals office that I set up for her to go to to fill out income and expense declaration. I need to get this done. Can I just claim a default divorce without fear of her getting my pension? We are in California, Placer County.

    • We don’t recommend working with a paralegal on a divorce with issues as that person cannot advise you and there is a good chance that your divorce will not be finalized. The law is very specific about pensions, retirement funds, investment funds and they are considered community property. Investments made from the date of marriage to the date of separation are divided. You would need an agreement, prepared by an attorney, which would be signed and notarized by both you and spouse in order for the court to allow the pension to not be divided. Unfortunately, a default hearing would likely not approve this.

  7. I have not served my husband yet, I’ve tried talking to him about it to resolve it easily but he says he is not signing anything. Would it be best to have him personally served right off the bat to move things along quicker?

    • I assume that you have filed the petition for divorce? It sounds like he doesn’t want to be cooperative. In this case you would have him served by a process server or other adult (not a child of the marriage). Once served he has 30 days to respond. If you wish to discuss your case, give us a call @ 818-630-5503.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

    • If the petitioner does not proceed and serve you, then you may go to the court, get a copy of the petition and then file a response. The case will then proceed by trial or by agreement if possible. If this case is in CA and you need help…give us a call @ 1-800-HELP-444.

  8. what is the difference between pensions, retirement funds and investment funds. My ex is a retired Federal Gov of 41 years and 8 of them were military. 1st wife did not get anything but 75.00 child support. second wife received 71/2 of his earnings with interest. She gave him everything just to get away from him. I am 3rd and real Estate was dealt with. He is fighting me about his monthly retirement.

    • Estella:
      Do you have an attorney? In California assets (as well as debts) are considered community property unless it is determined that they are separate. All assets need to be assessed from the date of marriage to the date of separation. It sounds like you are in a contested divorce and should get an attorney to represent you and explain each asset to you.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  9. He got his divorce and got remarried back in 2014. I am retired from the County and also have monthly pension

  10. I served him 30 days passed served finances and now 90 days passed I have a hearing and he wants to show up what happens then?

      • OK…as I said if he shows up to a default hearing the judge will typically ignore him and not allow him to speak.
        Thanks again for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

    • Lala:
      Have you already filed a default? Do you have a default hearing? If he shows up to a default hearing, typically the judge will not let him speak as he is not part of the case if he did not respond.
      Hope this helps!
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

      • I have a family law conference he has not filed any response and I have sole physical under a 3 year restraining what happens if he shows up but has not filed anything

  11. I live in CA. My wife filed and I responded earlier this year. We came to agreement on custody and have joint with me having physical custody. She has now left and I have no address or anything for her. I believe she is dragging feet because she has vehicle that is mine and knows she will be losing it. We had come to a basic agreement on financials but then she moved away without ever finishing the process.What can I do to get the divorce finalized?

    • Steve:
      When you came to an agreement regarding custody, was there anything in writing that was submitted to the court? If there was nothing submitted and you cannot find her (in order for her to sign an agreement) then you will need to file to request a trial date and go to trial. If you need additional help, give us a call @ 818-630-5503 to discuss.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

  12. So I filed and served him in january he has not responded I have a family conference in july and the six months ends in august I also have a 3 year restrainkng order what happens if he shows up to the conference

    • Have you entered the ‘default’? Did you file the proof of service with the court? More than likely this conference at the court is a ‘status’ conference due to the fact that nothing more has been done in your case. If you wish to discuss your divorce and how to move forward, please call us @ 818-630-5503…we’re here to help!
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

      • Proof of service was filed on all forms no response from him and we have status conference what happens if he shows up

        • Is there a reason why you have not entered a ‘default’ after the 30 days from the date of service? The courts request a status conference when nothing has been done on the case.
          Hope this helps!

  13. I filed and served the papers 11 months ago and he did not respond. We have no community property and no community debt. We were married six weeks. I did not give him my financials FL 140, FL 141, FL 150 FL 160 (I see now that it says within 60 days) do I have to start over?

    • When the respondent does not respond you simply have to enter a ‘default’ with the court. This should be done after the 30 day wait period from when he was served. In addition, the proof of service should have been filed with the court. Your main issues are to make sure he was served correctly and to file the default. If you would like us to help with this, give us a call @ 818-630-5503.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  14. My fiancé filed for divorce in 2007. He and his ex never finalized the divorce. Apparently there was a final agreement to sign and she never signed. Not for any reason except that she’s a flake. They both fired their attorneys so the divorce just never finalized. In 2012 he received a 5 year notice of dismissal. He filed the required form to keep the case open. He and his ex are on great terms, no fighting, no problems, no property anymore, child support is being paid and there are no issues with regard to the kids. Because she’s flakey, I’m afraid getting her to follow through with finalizing will be next to impossible, especially if she has to appear in court. My fiancée and I plan to marry next year and obviously we need this finalized. How do we go about finalizing the divorce? Do we file a bifurcation or can we simply file a request for a judgement?

    • In what court was the divorce filed? Do you have a case number? Who was the petitioner? Please call us @ 818-630-5503 to discuss.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

  15. Dear LegalAction,
    (This is in California). We have already been to court and agreement was made. The papers went to the other party but respondent refuses to sign. We are now going back to court. In my opinion, this judge has been unfairly biased to the respondent. I just want this to be finalized. What can I expect in court. Respondent will do anything to postpone or delay or add extra cost to this process. Thank you.

    • It sounds like you should simply file for a trial–if you and spouse are not in agreement, the only way to finalize the divorce is by going to trial and having the judge make a ruling.
      Hope this helps!

  16. my soon to be ex wife and I both want to be divorce and both did the first step but didn’t do the 2nd step in the 60 days time limit and now being told we can’t get a divorce. we both move on and the only thing holding us back is money. we can’t afford to paid, we got job but not great job where we can spend 500 dollars on this and because we live in the poorest county in ca. we are both just making pay check to pay check. now she has a other kid that child support is saying I have to pay for even if the kid not mine.
    just cuz we are still marry on paper but we have not been together for over 10 year. do I start again with step 1 plz any info will help

    • Steven:
      You must ask for a DNA test for the child who may not be yours. Did you go to the ‘self help’ section of your court for help with your divorce? I’m not sure why they would tell you that you can’t get divorced?? Do you have a case number for the divorce that was filed? If you wish to call me with it, I will try to help you. I can be reached @ 818-630-5503.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  17. My husband served me and I responded. But he refused to sign the proof of service so my documents was at the USPS. I told him I fax that documents at the county. Now he asked me to scan and send it. What will i do?. I plan to picture it with my camera to send it in an email to him.

    • Lorna:
      Your responsibility is to file your response at the court and mail a copy to him. This is for your ‘response’. This is not the same as a proof of service. If your spouse is the petitioner and served you with papers by mail then there is a ‘proof of service’ document which is called a ‘notice & acknowledgment’ which is signed and dated by you. It sounds like both you and your spouse are confused as to the divorce process. If you wish to discuss, please call us @ 818-630-5503…we will try to help you!
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

  18. What if i received my divorce decree and it was finalized the court left alimony open how much time can pass so thet court no longer considers alimony and if so i can ask for child support something that i did not include in divorce how is that balanced if he asks for alimony but owes child support?

    • Alimony or spousal support & child support is not usually left out of a finalized divorce if it is requested and if there are children under 18 years of age. If child support is in the Child Support Services court then that is a different matter and any amount owed there will be taken care of by that office. Your spouse can ask for spousal support but it doesn’t mean that he will get it. Did this divorce end in a default judgment (when the spouse does not respond) or was it contested? If the court did not grant spousal support but it stated that the ‘courts hold jurisdiction’ then it’s possible that spousal support could be requested at a later date. This, however, does not mean that it would be granted.

      • Yes it was left open i have not opened a child support case….is it wise to do so? It was a default divorce and he did not contribute in the marriage and did nothing to work or contribute financially….is this considered if alimony is opened???
        Thank you….How punishable is a restraining order because he harasses my family through the phone ???

        • If the court held jurisdiction then he can ask for support. Support can be calculated based on income of both parties and is influenced by the length of the marriage from the date of marriage to the date of separation. Again, this doesn’t mean that he will get it–the court will look at all the factors. If he harasses family members, a restraining order can be filed and the judge would access the allegations and determine if a restraining order is warranted. Not sure if you should open a child support case at this point…it depends on the age of the children and other factors. It’s best that you get legal advice for your case as any attorney would have to look at your papers to determine the best approach in your case.

  19. Good Morning Ms. Platt-Drucker,

    I am married to an American citizen from Torrance and I am from Germany. Since almost 3 years now I am trying to get divorced.

    I was student at the El Camino college. In this time I met my husband. We stayed 3 years together and got married 2013 in LA. He abused me physically and mentally, he didn’t work and he spend my money. I’m still paying the dept of $15000. We have no children. I decided to go back to Germany after the last incident when his family had to hold him back from me.

    Since I know him all he does is trying to become a famous singer.

    One day I was strong enough to separate. He promised me to pay the divorce but he never did. I emailed his family to make him go to a lawyer. He went to Sandy Roxas Law in Torrance. The case is now pending.

    I talked to Ms. Roxas over email and she said she can not reach him anymore and can not help me. She is no longer his Attorney of Record. I tried to call him and emailed him. I even talked to his friends. But he doesn’t do anything. I’m tired of hoping. I would like to sue him for all he did to me and to get finally divorced. I really hope you can help me. This is my last chance.

    I have contacted several attorneys but they said if he does not cooperate, we cannot get divorced. I tried to find similar cases on the internet but its different. We have no assets and no kids to split and he said back then he is ok with the divorce, he just don’t wanna do anything and ignores me now.

    I think he does not want to do the financial disclosure. Most of the time he doesn’t work.

    I am desperate! Is there a Chance to get divorced without his cooperation in this case?

    I hope you can help me.

    • We have already spoken about this problem. You’re in a difficult situation due to the fact that your spouse does not wish to complete the process and, since you did not file a response when served, you are not ‘in the case’. Essentially, your spouse should have finalized the ‘default’ and completed the divorce–but he has not. Now, you will have to respond to the divorce and either try to find him so that he can sign an agreement or go to trial to complete. If you wish to file a response, give us a call @ 818-630-5503. It would also help to have the ‘case number’ so that we can look it up online.
      Hope this helps!

  20. I filed for divorce 11/28/16 and expected my spouse to default, but he responded. he did not file any of his required disclosures with the court. There is a Case Management Conference tomorrow. I do not think he will show up for that. I am representing myself, I have no attorney but since he responded, this is a contested divorce. He has an attorney of record on file with the court. What can I expect at a Case Management Conference when he does not show up and his attorney does not show up? I emailed his attorney asking for the disclosures to be filed. The attorney responded “My understanding is your husband is going to represent himself. Expect a Substitution of Attorney to be filed soon.” That was not filed with the court and I have not received it. I am asking for nothing. No property, no support, no fees. I just want to be divorced. That is all. Thank you

    • Dolores:
      We spoke through ‘Live Chat’ 2 days ago and I believe I answered your questions. In a divorce, once a response has been filed, the parties can agree on their issues by way of a ‘stipulated judgment’ or one party can request a trial. In a trial all issues will be addressed. As long as the issues are addressed, the court can approve the divorce. It’s always best to get some legal advice so that you understand how the court looks at your specific situation.
      Hope this helps!
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  21. I filed for divorce and there was no response and no agreement so it is in Default, I pay child support with out an order monthly. Do I still need to create a child support order? or would that only be if I wanted to receive child support?

  22. I met him in India the marriage happened in India. He came to Usa January 2016 in April 2016 he took off just 4 months. He abused me in our relationship. My husband married me to come to Usa he secretly took the green card while I was at work. He accused me of domestic violence called called 911 filed a false report used it against me got restraining order. I filed a missing report. He disappeared for months and I received a divorce notice fron state of California Merced county I’m in Washington state. This was a preplanned game conspiracy to come to Usa. It is clear it’s a fraud marriage he took the green are and betrayed me, abandoned me, neglected me and abused me in our relationship. What can I do about default request notice the attorney sent??? Please help me!!! Give me a contact number.. I need help ASAP…. Also I reported to uscis local office in Washington but no answer… What can be done?? Thanks!!

    • Sandy:
      You have options. You can let the divorce go through as a default (meaning that you did not ‘respond’) or you can have a motion prepared to set aside the default and then ‘respond’ that you want an annulment. There are pros and cons to doing this. If you wish to discuss, please call me Monday to Friday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  23. Hi, I have a question. I filed for divorce, my husband filed a response. I then sent him my financial disclosures and filed them with the court. It has now been two months and he refuses to fill out his financial disclosure. Is there any way I can move forward without him completing the disclosure?

    • Amber:
      Once your spouse files a response, you are in a contested divorce. It’s best to get some legal advice with regard to your issues and if he continues to be non-cooperative then it looks like you will go to trial. If spousal or child support are issues then the court will want to see his assets & debts anyways. If you wish to discuss, call us @ 818-630-5503.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  24. I am going thru a rather difficult divorce…4 years and counting. Spouse has never worked, always working on the next “big deal”. We were married for 12 years. He is now claiming to be disabled, but can’t get any doctors to sign-off on this. He is a drug addict and alcoholic. Our 2 children (17 & 15) refuse to spend any time with him. They are afraid. He has convinced the Judge to let him call into each hearing..but she told him at the last hearing that he needed to show up next time. Tomorrow is our next hearing and he’s told me that he can’t make it. His tactic is to delay…delay and delay. I’ve spent over $100K now on legal fees…and no one seems to hold him accountable.

    For anonymity, I am using my boyfriend’s email.

    • If you have not gone to ‘trial’ you should file for that right away. Usually when the judge says that he must show up for the next hearing–and he does not–he is sanctioned. I’m not sure why you have been involved in a divorce for so long? In which court is your divorce? You may call me with your case number @ 818-630-5503 to discuss further.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  25. We had a trial date set. He then claimed he had a surgery scheduled, which turned out to be a lie. The Court is here in Orange County – Lamoreaux Justice Center. The Judge is “breaking” each contested part (asset/debt & visitation for the 15 y.o.) into separate Hearings to accommodate is claim of disability. He is claiming that he can’t sit for any length of time in court, even though we have pictures of him out at bars with friends. My lawyer won’t risk her reputation by calling out his stories and inconsistencies. After the DV Hearing he has stopped pushing for the 17 y.o.’s visitation. He thus far has ignored all the orders that affect him. He refuses to disclose all financial matters, including a FL150. I am in compliance…seems unfair.

    1) How do I manage his claim of disability, with no proof from a qualified MD?
    2) How do I get this back on track, back on the Trial calendar

    I’ve come to realize that I have been an abused spouse for years and am only trying to move on with my life.

    • I’m not sure why your attorney is not being more strategic? You may be able to ask for a bifurcated divorce so that you can be divorced and address the outstanding issues later. His records can be subpoenaed so I’m not sure why your lawyer does not do this? In your case, since it’s been going on for so long and there is no cooperation, we would not be able to take over the case at this point. If your current attorney is not advancing the case, you may want to seek out other OC attorneys who may work better for you.
      I hope this helps!

      • The problem with bifurcation is that RES will ask that I cover his medical costs. I can’t afford this.

        Question: understanding that from date of marriage to DOS, we were married for just over 12 years. What is the statute for awarding spousal support? I’ve read a bit about after 10 years how the law changes. But do you know of any caselaw that shows where a Judge has set a termination date on SS in cases where they were married over 10 yrs? I don’t mind paying for 6 years from DOS. This should have given him plenty of time to enter the workforce.

        Thank you so much for your time.

        • Spousal support in a long marriage (over 10 years) is based on a number of factors so I cannot answer your question. It’s best that you have your attorney run the dissomaster (software program) and give you the best & worst case scenario and then make an argument to the judge as to your spouse’s credibility.
          Hope this helps!

  26. My husband (an attorney) filed the petition 14 months ago. I signed a notice of acknowledgement and told him to just take a default on me since we are both broke and there’s nothing owned to fight over. He hasn’t done anything. The court has schedule nothing, not so much as an OSC. What happens now? I really can’t afford to spend money on an attorney but it seems like the court ought to impose some sort of deadline on the petitioner to do *something.* I mean, he’s the one who petitioned!

    • Mary:
      This is a problem that can happen when the petitioner does not complete the process. The way to address this is to file a response and then have someone draw up an agreement for you that he would sign and then you can complete the final paperwork. If you would like our help, call us @ 818-630-5503.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

  27. A friend is divorcing. The both reside in Calif. Can he still move to another state if he wishes not to contest the divorce? It is spelled out in the divorce papers, he is entitled to half the proceeds of the sale of their home, hes fine with that. Must he reside in Calif through the whole process?

    • Patty:
      He can move providing he can be contacted by email to sign whatever documents that need to be signed. Has he been served with divorce? Is an agreement being prepared? If the divorce is not filed correctly or the agreement is not approved by the court, he may need to go to court for a hearing or trial. It’s best to have your friend call us @ 818-630-5503 if he needs to discuss further.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  28. Hi.
    my spouse is the petitioner and I already signed my part but now she is the one who does not want to sign and this has been going on for the past year and 1/2. I called the court to see what else I can do to finally finalize the divorce, but they are not been cooperative. what can I do since she the petitioner and she does not want to sign?

    • Osmin:
      How long have you been married? Do you have children or property? In most cases if the petitioner does not wish to finalize the divorce then the respondent (you) would have to respond and then possibly go to trial to finalize. Since you do not state what your current situation is, I will assume that this is what you may need to do. It’s best to call us to discuss @ 818-630-5503.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  29. I filed for divorce back in June and my ex signed his papers but it is saying that he still owes the court a fee and the case is labeled as pending. Can I just set up a date without him and finalize since he is refusing to either pay or sign the fee waiver? We do have a child together, but he barely sees him as is and doesn’t pay anything because he is unemployed. We were on good terms as far as what was going to happen as far as custody and child support and I have it in writing.

    • Samantha:
      When you file for divorce in CA and you have issues i.e. a child, then the divorce does not just go through the court once he signs. First, are you saying he signed the ‘proof of service’? Once he signs that he has 30 days to respond. Did he file a response? If he has not you may be able to enter a default. The court offers a self-help and they may be able to help you understand the process. If you wish, you can call us @ 818-630-5503 to discuss further.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

  30. We are going through a very drawn out divorce with my soon to be husband. His ex is drawing everything out as far as possible. When we requested for a default judgement, She was granted an additional 30 days to file her response and 60 for Income and Expense. She failed to meet the deadlines. I was contacted by the court department and was told that because she didn’t fail to meet the deadline. All I have to do is request a hearing and speak to the judge. I did that and paid over 30 to overnight the papers because we now live in oregon. However we were told that we should consult an attorney. I don’t know what to do. We can’t afford an attorney. No matter what, can’t I just go back and file for ANOTHER default judgement because she YET AGAIN didn’t comply?

    • Courtney:
      In what court is the divorce filed? It would be best to speak to the petitioner to understand what the issues are in this divorce. Normally, once the respondent files a response, the option is an agreement or a trial. You may call us to see if we can help you at a reasonable cost
      @ 818-630-5503.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  31. Hi, My sister (US citizen) is in California and her spouse is in the Philippines. She wants to file for divorce and I believe the spouse has agreed that she go ahead with it.

    They have a 16 yr old son but they had a verbal agreement 10 yrs ago before they broke up that the son will be under my sister’s care. They have no properties in the US nor in the Philippines.

    Can they enter a default divorce if the spouse in the Philippines doesn’t respond to the petition? The spouse signed the petition but he did not provide tax statements.

    Thanks,
    Rose

    • The way divorce works when a spouse lives in a foreign country (that is a Hague Convention Country like the Philippines) is that the spouse would be served with an agreement which he would sign and notarize. Typically our courts can approve this type of service. In essence, service is the most important aspect of this type of divorce and it doesn’t appear that your sister’s spouse was served properly in order to get it through the court system. Please have her call us to explain @ 818-630-5503.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!

  32. My husband filed divorce petition on 31 august 2017. He lives in califronia and I live in New york. But my husband doesnt know my address or where I live. Also i have never been served by him through email or any pther contact. What if he never serve my with paper? How will that divorce proceed?

    • Gauri:
      A proof of service is required by the court and that date is actually the start of the divorce so, without a proof of service the divorce cannot proceed. If you know that your spouse filed for divorce–do you have a ‘case number’? If you have this, we can check online to see what has happened with your case. It’s best to speak to your spouse and tell him your address so that you can be served and so that you are aware of what is going on in your case. It’s also best to make a time to consult with a CA attorney to determine your legal rights and options. If you wish, you may call us @ 818-630-5503.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  33. My spouse (the petitioner) marked 9(a) and 10(a) on FL-100. However, when she moved out she took all of the community property of value (e.g. mattresses, TV’s, furniture, etc.). I filed a response and have a court date for Feb. 13. at LJC. Can I demand that she return all of the community property to me? Did she forfeit these assets by marking those boxes?

    • Tony:
      If you filed a ‘response’ it means that you are in a contested divorce. When disputing over personal items, it’s always a good idea to note the value of these items and the date they were purchased. Often times these items are simply divided between the parties. The judge will make a decision as to how to handle the personal items based on testimony.
      Hope this helps!
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  34. Hello My spouse is not giving a location so I can serve him papers and also fill out the papers online. What do I do in this case to get the process started if he is not giving me an address?

    • Yvonne:
      What we can do is do a ‘search’ to see if we can find him first. If we find him…he gets served. If we can’t find him then we would have to proceed with a ‘publication’ divorce. Please call us @ 818-630-5503 to discuss further.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  35. My spouse walked (for the last time) out of the house in June ’18, left me with a minor. No forwarding address only pass due bills. We have community property after 31 years of marriage. She has left 98% of her stuff in the house. I, with my mediator, have tried to make contact with her but no reply.
    I filed for Divorce last July ’18 through a mediator, my spouse filed also in July via an attorney four days later. Her petition was singed first, I responded as required within 30 days. She (the petitioner) hasn’t done anything else. Is there a way I can move this divorce forward?

    • Stephen:
      Yes, since you have responded, you are now ‘in’ the case and can request a trial or temporary hearing if necessary. A trial is one way to finalize the divorce when the parties do not agree or cooperate. We may be able to help with your case. Please call us @ 818-630-5503 to discuss.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

      • Correction: The dates should be 2017
        This is what the her lawyer wrote: under 9 b & 10 b.
        “The exact nature and extent of Petitioner’s separate property assets and debts
        is not currently known. Petitioner will amend this Petition and/or file a
        Property Declaration when the characterization of all such assets and debts
        is known.”

        Is this excuse normal? NO FL-150 was ever filed by her but I sent mine to the mediator for filing.
        She also inherited money & property after her father died last June. Does she have to disclose all that info?

        • This is common…her inheritance is only hers as long as you did not also inherit and she did not place money or property in both you and her names. She can disclose this as ‘separate property’. It’s best to consult with an attorney so you understand your legal rights and how the process works!

  36. I filed back in 2010, and was initially granted a default judgement. However, this was rejected 3 mo later due to missing forms, and clarification needed from the county child support division. Once this was submitted, the judgement was again returned alleging the orders are different than initially requested in petition. The children are all over 18, there was no property at the time we separated, only I have worked since Feb. 2008, and we’ve lived apart since Oct. 2008. As the default judgment was rejected after it was initially granted, can I just start over? If so, I will likely be unable to have him served again in person, so what if he refuses to sign for certified mail?

    • Connie:
      Was this in a court in California? Typically the courts dismiss the divorce after 5 years. Your first task is to go to the court and see if the case is still open. If it is, then it’s a matter of fixing the default paperwork so it gets through the court and is approved. We may be able to help with this…so if it’s a CA court, call us @ 818-630-5503 to discuss further. If it is dismissed, you will have to start all over. Service in another state can be done by a process server.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  37. Hello, I got a lawyer and filed for divorce in 2016 and served my husband the divorce papers. He signed for them and got his own lawyer. Unfortunately My lawyer sucks and his was terrible as well. I still have my lawyer, just no communication and my husband fired the one had.
    My husband and I are now at the point where I want to move forward with the divorce, however he doesn’t. He keeps saying he don’t want me to take his retirement. He is active duty military.
    What needs to happen now and if we need to go face to face with a judge, does he have any advantage in the military? Also, I no longer want to use my current lawyer going forward. Due to my husband being in the military, is it in my best interest to pursue getting another lawyer?
    Thank you.

    • Yes, it would be best to get another lawyer as it appears that you will need to go to trial to address his retirement fund etc. It sounds like you should request a trial date. Once you do that you will go to a trial setting conference. Since your spouse is active military the courts may suggest ways that he can be present (such as ‘court call’).
      Hope this helps!
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

  38. So my former spouse could set me up 4 a crime i did not commit file for divorce knowing im in jail and rob me of my life?

    • Melanie:
      If your spouse files for divorce, you will need to be served. Once served, you can file a ‘response’ which will mean you would be in a contested divorce even though you are incarcerated. If you feel that you have been set up, it’s best that you speak with a criminal lawyer for advice.
      Hope this helps!

  39. What happens in a contested default divorce where there are $ millions of dollars almost all in private equity shares with no published values d no market for sale/liquidity plus a $10 Million home with limited sale opportunity and an divorce asset split would force bankruptcy. Can bankruptcy in Calif protect the house in the divorce and from immediate liquidation sale. When bankruptcy is controlled by the court how can there be a forced sales of assets

    • Howard:
      A default can be set aside with a motion (motion to set aside) providing you have not waited too long to do it. It would be best to speak with a bankruptcy attorney regarding the home and your options as this is a complicated situation.
      Hope this helps!

  40. Hello, please help me . I am having bad custody and divorce battle with my abusive husband. I filed for divorce but did not continue based on my financial situation and no attorney. After two years my spouse scheduled separate Trial for divorce My English is not good and don’t know legal stuff. In settlement conference he had a attorney but not me. He brings up many untruthful stuff to scared me to just give Trial. I had no power to go by my self to the Trial and fight for my rights. After I agree with his unfair proposed also in front the judge, I got now from his attorney ”Stipulation and waiver of final declaration of disclosure” , but my friend told me to absolutely not agree with all points where he wants me to have a half responsibility for his taxes debt during our marriage. Can I still appeal or change what I agreed in Settlement conference? Thank you for your answer . Emily

    • Emily:
      It sounds like you need legal advice. To go into a contested divorce without an attorney is a mistake. First, if you needed spousal support, you could have asked for it and second you could have asked for him to pay your legal fees! In what court is your divorce? In order to answer your questions, it would be best to call us @ 818-630-5503 with your case number so I can see where you are in the process and what has been filed.
      Thank-you for contacting Legal Action Workshop!

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