Your Spouse Did Not Respond to Your Petition for Divorce. What Happens Next?

After you have served the Petition, your spouse has 30 calendar days to “respond”. By respond, we mean filing a “Response” (FL-12).If the thirtieth day falls on a weekend or a holiday, your spouse has until the next business day to file.

If after the statutory time has lapsed and no Response has been filed, you can prepare a Request to Enter Default ([b]Judicial Counsel Form FL-165[/b]). Defaults, and the required accompanying documents, do take a bit of time to prepare and if your spouse comes back a few days later and wants the default set aside, most Judges will usually grant that request, regardless of the reasoning for failing to file their Response. To potentially avoid having to prepare additional documents, and delay your action, unnecessarily, you may want to alert your spouse that you will file a default by a set date if they do not file their Response.

Caution
If you take your spouse’s default, they will not be required to prepare their disclosures so if you need their financial information to obtain orders for support or division of debts, the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to get it is by them completing and serving their required disclosures.

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