When you are ready to get out of your marriage, you do not want the divorce process to take forever. You just want to move on. What happens, though, if you have a spouse who refuses to participate in the divorce process?
In California, it is possible to file a default or uncontested divorce when your spouse is disengaged and refusing to negotiate terms or sign divorce papers. Want to know how this type of divorce works?
Default divorce basics
Most couples would rather work together to come to agreeable divorce terms or even choose litigation just so they can have a say in:
- Asset division
- Child custody
- Child support
However, some individuals simply choose not to respond to divorce petitions.
If your spouse does not respond to your divorce petition, you have the right to request that the court grant your divorce. To do this, you would need to file a default motion. You do have to give your spouse a reasonable amount of time to answer the divorce petition before you can file the default motion. Usually, the state gives respondents 30 days to answer marriage dissolution petitions. After filing the default motion, the court will review your case and can grant your divorce after hearing your case.
What happens if your spouse responds after filing the default?
It is possible for your spouse to respond after you filed the default, as he or she will receive notice of the filing. If he or she chooses to do this, a judge will get to decide whether to decline the default request or allow it to go through. At this point, the reason for the delayed response needs to be really good for a judge to consider allowing the divorce to be contested.
Need help moving forward with your divorce?
If you are ready to file for divorce but your spouse is dragging his or her feet, you can still move forward with the process. With a little assistance, you can draft divorce terms that you are happy with and then take the steps necessary to file for a default or uncontested divorce. Legal counsel can help you present your case and request any petitions to remove the default be declined so you can get on with your life.