Typically, married couples take at least six months to take all necessary steps to get a divorce in California, such as filing and serving various documents. However, some divorces can also require attending court hearings and conducting necessary discovery. As a result, a contested divorce can take one to several years to complete, while an uncontested divorce can occur within a few months. Read on to learn more about the California divorce timeline and how A People’s Choice can help you file for divorce and finalize your judgment as quickly as possible.
Steps for a California Divorce
There are several steps involved in filing for divorce in California that affect the timeline, including but often not limited to the following:
The petitioner must complete and file necessary forms
Specifically, they must file Form FL-100 Petition for Dissolution, and Form FL-110 Summons. If children are involved, the petitioner may also require additional paperwork.
The petitioner must officially serve the filed divorce papers on the respondent
If the respondent is cooperative, they may voluntarily sign for receipt of the divorce documents. However, if the respondent is not cooperative, the petitioner must have the respondent personally served by another individual over 18 years of age. This individual will also need to complete a Form FL-115 Proof of Service of Summons, which the petitioner must file with the court.
Within 60 days of filing the petition for dissolution, the petitioner must complete and serve preliminary disclosure documents on their spouse
These documents include a Declaration of Disclosure FL-140 and Schedule of Assets and Debts FL-142. In addition, the petitioner must provide their spouse with copies of all tax returns filed within the past two years.
If the divorce is contested, the respondent must file a response
They must file the response within 30 days of service.
The respondent must also serve preliminary disclosures on the petitioner
They must file preliminary disclosures within 60 days of filing a response.
In contested matters, the court will typically schedule several status hearings
The court schedules these hearings to monitor how the case is going. Therefore, the parties must appear in front of a judge and explain how settlement is coming along. At any time during this process, the parties can agree to resolve the issues by signing a marital settlement agreement. This document outlines how the parties have agreed to settle their case. Ultimately, the parties file this agreement along with their final judgment so it becomes a court order.
If the parties cannot agree, they will have a period of time to complete their discovery
After the completion of discovery, the court will set the matter for a formal trial. At the trial, the judge will make a final decision on all contested legal issues including the division of community property. Additionally, the judge will make final orders regarding spousal and child support as well as custody and visitation.
If the respondent fails to file a response, the petitioner may enter default judgment against them
On the 31st day after the date of service, the petitioner may enter default judgment against the respondent if they have failed to file a response and the petitioner has complied with the disclosure requirements.
California Divorce Timeline: Court Filing and Service Deadlines
The Divorce Filing Date
The date of filing a divorce is a representation of a person’s intent to dissolve a marriage. Specifically, a divorce is considered “filed” on the date the court stamps the petition and assigns the matter a case number. However, this date has no direct relationship with the marriage’s termination date, which is based on the date of service of the summons and petition.
The earliest date a party can be divorced is six months plus 1 day from the date 1) the respondent is served with the divorce papers, 2) the respondent files a response, or the 3) when the parties file an appearance, stipulation and waiver; whichever comes first.
Deadline to Serve Spouse
There is no statutory deadline to serve filed divorce papers on the other spouse. However, many courts automatically schedule follow-up status hearings when a divorce is filed to ensure that the case is proceeding in a timely manner.
Therefore, when filing for divorce, you should review the paperwork returned to see if the court has set a future deadline for filing the proof of service or other paperwork. In fact, if you fail to file a proof of service by the scheduled hearing, you may have to appear in front of the judge to explain the delay.
California Divorce Timeline: Discovery Deadlines
In friendly divorce proceedings, the only discovery that takes place is the mandatory exchange of financial disclosures. On the other hand, in contested divorces, the court must allow both parties a reasonable amount of time to conduct detailed discovery. During this discovery, each party must cooperate with the other’s formal requests for documentation and other questions.
The purpose of discovery is to allow each party to learn about the assets, debts, and other issues they must resolve to complete the divorce. In fact, the court usually will not set a trial date until both parties have completed their discovery.
Discovery can last anywhere from 2 to 18 months. However, sometimes the judge can extend the time for discovery as needed to allow both sides to collect the information they need to support their position.
California Divorce Timeline: Judgment and Marital Termination Date
The six-month waiting period is the earliest date at which the court can enter a termination date of the marriage and restore the parties’ status as single. However, nothing automatically happens in six months.
In California, a judgment of divorce becomes effective the day the judge signs the judgment for dissolution of marriage. However, it is important to remember that the termination date of the marriage is often not the date of judgment. In other words, you should not assume that your divorce is automatically final 6 months after the date of service. The divorce is not final until the clerk enters the judgment into the court record.
Upon entering judgement, the clerk will date stamp the documents and provide each party with a copy of the order. This order will state the termination date of the marriage. Oftentimes this termination date is in the future!
When the termination date on the judgment passes, the parties’ marriage is officially terminated. At this point, either party is free to remarry. Note that the court will not send out any other notices after the termination date passes.
Court Dismissal Due to Lack of Activity
Most courts monitor the California divorce timeline in divorce cases for activity. For example, if one or both parties do not attend court hearings over a certain period of time, the case appears stagnant. Furthermore, if there is no activity in the case, the court may motion to dismiss it, closing the case completely. Then, if the parties wanted to continue their divorce in the future, they would have to start over by preparing and filing new paperwork. Additionally, the court would issue a new case number and require another court filing fee.
Believe it or not, it’s not uncommon for couples who plan to divorce to get back together after filing divorce and prior to the judgment. For instance, if the respondent has not filed a formal response to the petition for divorce, the petitioner can simply dismiss the case. In this situation, they would need to file a request for dismissal with the court.
On the other hand, if the responder did file a response, both parties must agree to cancel the case. Thus, both parties would have to request the case dismissal by filing a joint request for dismissal. Note that a request for dismissal can be filed by the parties any time, including prior to the termination date even if a judgment has been entered!
Considering filing for divorce? Contact A People’s Choice for more information about California’s divorce timeline and what it’ll look like for your specific case.
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I’m in an uncontested divorce and we used an arbitrator to process our papers. It was submitted in December or January, I think the latter. About March, the court returned the documents due to some missing information. This was corrected and resubmitted in April. I called the court on 7/19/22 to check the status and was told it was reviewed on 7/11 and was bow out for signatures. I was told that could take awhile. I’m wondering what that means exactly, what’s the average amount of time does it take at that stage and is that the finL stage?
Unfortunately there is no “average time” and it varies from court to court. Keep following up with the court.
started my divorce in 2016 and have been separated ever since. I didn’t know I had to bring my case to trial before a certain date. I have been dealing with my mental health and trying to avoid my ex husband as there were domestic issues that have left me pretty traumatized. I have my case number. I am wondering if my case been dismissed and what was the judgement? If I want to finalize my divorce do I have to start all over again? Please help me I don’t know where to start.
The current state of your divorce proceedings would determine your next move. If you have your case number you can check the county website where your divorce was filed for the status of your case. If it was dismissed you may have to file a new petition in order to complete your divorce. Whether it’s finalizing your ongoing divorce or starting a new one, we have a package that can help you create your documents.
Hello, I have a family friend who received mail with details for a hearing for “Final Dissolution” with “F/L DEFAULT/NCONTESTED” included. Our friend is the “respondent”, and is wondering if she is obligated to go or if there are legal repercussions to not appearing at the hearing.
Hello Anthony, usually in an uncontested matter, these hearings are just status conferences that are set automatically and come off as you go through the process. If it is an actual hearing, we would never recommend not making an appearance, but I would consult with an attorney for any legal advice.
Hi I filed for divorce 7years ago and went to court got a judgement date but I did not know I had to file more papers after the trial. Fast forward I found out last month it wasn’t finalized. If all paperwork has been filed we had no assets to fight over or kids, how long would it take to get a divorce decree?
Hello Carol, We can probably assist with the finalizing of your process. We would need to have a look at your docket. Please call the office on 800-747-2780 so we can gather the necessary information.
Hello – I filed all my divorce paperwork 5/5/21. My ex responded 5/20/21. When I look at my case status online under the disposition column it says “ vacated “ what does that mean? It states vacated for the response and proof of summons action text . This is solely a dissolution case with children no child support/spousal support and we both agreed on a parenting schedule.
Usually, vacated means something was undone by the court, perhaps because the documents were incorrect? I would contact the court to clarify. If you require assistance in refiling, please contact the office on 800-747-2780 and a member of staff can assist.
Great article! Thanks!
My es filed for divorce I responded and I went to the first court appearance but she didn’t and they just gave another court date, from that point neither one of us went to any court date and they sent something saying they will dismiss the divorce and that puts us at square one. How can I make sure it gets finalized? We have kids but agree on child care. We both made roughly the same money for the 8 years we were together if not a little more in her checks. Her car was only asset and she can have it.
I just want this behind me because she can’t be trusted..lol filed in July 2019, so I just go make a court date ?
Hi Keith, If your divorce is still open with the courts, we can finalize all the documentation for you. Please call the office on 800-747-2780 and we can give you a price quote.
If I purchase a property 2 years after petitioning from divorce, am I finally exempted from any potential community property claim?
HI John, I would get some legal advice regarding this issue. You could try avvo.com for assistance.
Hi Ms. McCarthy
I filed in February 2019. And served in the same month. I turned in my paperwork including financials to the paralegal. He never respond.Ed. I’m ready to finalize but the paralegal said he has to provide his financials first. I never received a notice of default. If he doesn’t turn in his financials am I stuck? He moved to Texas in 2018. I stayed in California until 2020. My paralegal said it’s still valid because we were living in California our entire lives and one of us still living there at least 6 months before filing. He said he called a lawyer in Texas and was told everything is invalid because I am now a resident of Texas. Is this true?
How you proceed would depend on whether or not your spouse filed a Response to the original Petition. Give our office a call and we can check the court docket. 805-648-5540
Hi, I lived in California, we’re married for 10 years, my ex he left me last year from February 1/2021. He said want moved out because he can’t lived same roofs with me, he said we won’t match, really ??? Being together for 6 years and married for 10 years total 16 years together and won’t match? We don’t have kid, never join bank together, I own the house last 5 years ago and was only my name on the mortgage because he had bad credit the loan denied him, I pays everything from closing costs, down payment, monthly mortgage….he didn’t. After he left me for 3 months, he came back told me we’re going to divorce, we hired a lady do paperwork and payed the court fee, but I don’t agree what he want like sold the house give him half which the house bought from me, i told him I’ve buy him out for $30.000 cash just for him sign off the title of the house, he say OK but he not, he want more because he knows the house will increase everyday, last few months ago i told him I’ve pay him $40.000 but have to wait for me refinance the house borrowing $ pay him off, he says change the plan and hire a lawyer to get 50/50 what we had, honestly he had nothing to lose, I’m a hard working handicap lady due to back surgery but I’m still working full time and make more $ then him, that’s why he want to take half what i have. I. Just want a fair divorce and hope a lawyer and the Judge look through my statement and see how much interest I’m putting on my house and the times we’re married I’m the only one paying the most for everything, he payed about 20% while we’re married. I need help and if go down the point i do buy him out my house i will but not 50/50 splits because he did not have full 50% interest instead 20%. He never have any of statements payed the mortgage by his check or bank, only I’m paying the mortgage and the loan only had my name.I need help, Thanks
Hello Mai, I’m not sure what your question was or how we can assist. You may need legal advice, but if you require assistance with paperwork, please call the office on 800-747-2780 and a member of staff can assist.
Hello, i have a question, so my ex filed a divorce last June 2020, i got the packets but didn’t look or respond, times go by and last week i had a packet paperwork from his lawyer says i have to respond in 60 days, i was confused because though the divorce was done last year, but i did not have any mail from court… i open up seen he open new cases and ask me to divide anything i had, i call legal help they says i need to respond in 30 days, but I’m worry don’t have enough time because COVID so its very hard to find a place to help me filling a respond, so i call the court house spokes with the court clerk, she told me i have no case, the case numbers i gave her to check she says is was defaulted long times ago, i have no case, so i do fill a response for his new paperwork and don’t known what else next ? Thanks
Hello Mai, I would obtain some legal advice regarding your situation but if you decide you need a response prepared, our office can assist with the documents. Please call us at 800-747-2780.
Hi so I filed my divorce feb 2021 and my ex didn’t respond so I filed default how long will it take for me to be divorced. I turned in my default papers on 10/12/21
Hello Ashley, that will depend on how they were served, your termination date is 6 months and 1 day after the date of service.
I filed for divorce in 2017. My wife was served but refused to respond and eventually defaulted. I never received anything from the courts. In late 2019 I asked courts and they said additional paperwork was needed but then I started working 16 hour days and then the pandemic hit. My question is since it’s been 4 years since I filed, do I have to start over?
Probably not. Check your court docket. We can help you pick uo where you left off! Call us at 800-747-2780
Hi all of my paper work has been filed and I was granted the default what are my next steps?
Every case is different when it comes to getting a default judgment. Give us a call if you need help at 800-747-2780
Hi, my husband and I are at end stages of our uncontested divorce. We agree on everything except date of separation. Can we each list separate dates of separation on the stipulated judgment?
No because that is a defined date dealing with separate and community issues. You will need to agree on date of separation.
How long do I have to sign the stipulated judgment as a petitioner for a marriage dissolution (divorce) that I filed 5 months ago? My ex received it just now and signed it immediately, so it’s my turn to sign. (state of CA)
There really is no timeframe.
i filed for divorce in July 2019 summit all forms on the calendar July 2020 but my soon to be ex husband hasn’t file any thing do i still go to court
There may be different options that will allow your case to proceed or to get a judgment. We are here to help at 800-747-2780.
I am in California and my husband filed for divorce 8 mos. ago and I haven’t been served and haven’t seen any papers, but my husband e-mailed me a copy of the notification for a court hearing back in December which is scheduled for next week. I told him that I haven’t been served with the papers and haven’t seen any documents concerning the divorce. He can’t make up his mind if he wants to move forward. Since I haven’t been served with the papers, am I supposed to appear at the scheduled court date? Thank you in advance for your assistance.
If you haven’t been served probably not. Do you want the divorce to proceed? You may want to give our office a call at 800-747-2780.
My spouse and I failed to attend a court hearing in CA. We were under the impression that we didn’t have to in order to get the divorced finalized. Is this true?
Some status hearings are not critical if you don’t attend. Not having any specific information regarding where your case is at, it is hard to say in your situation.
My husband and I divorced 20 something years ago. We went to court we were granted the judgment and I thought that was the end of it. Well now that I’m thinking about retiring Social Security needed a copy of my divorce decree and I didn’t have one so I requested one through the court. I received a letter saying the judgment was granted but never finalize what does this mean? Isn’t the clerk supposed to take it from there and enter the judgment. Well I have since remarried and so has he so does that mean that we’re not divorced? I can’t get my Social Security until I have a divorce degree in my hand and I want ya o retire. Thanks For taking my question. Deedee
The process was different back then. You may need to file a motion to get the judgment back dated. I would talk to a lawyer.
Hello, my question is in regards to financial assets obtained after filing for a divorce. Are these monies attachable if they were obtained after filing for divorce?
I am not sure I understand your question but if you need legal advice I talk to a family law attorney.
Hello, I filed for divorce last April, my husband was served but he never responded. I received a letter saying i need to Enter Default. How long do I have to file default before they dismiss my case.
Every court is different. They will usually schedule status hearings before they file for a dismissal.
Are the 30 days to respond bissness days?
No, 30 counted days but there are special exclusions and rules
Hi I was suppose to respond to divorce papers 30 something days ago. I have not im having a hard time putting my Christian beliefs aside in order to respond. Am I in trouble of some sort because I still haven’t signed anything? Or can I still respond now? Since my court date is the 20 something if this month?
You should make steps to file a response as soon as possible so that your default is not taken against you.
My boyfriend has been separated from his wife for several years. She surfaced in November of 2017 and filed for divorce. There are no children involved and it was intended to be uncontested. My boyfriend filed his response but there has been no movement on the case since. She keeps telling him that there are additional papers and that she will complete them “soon”. It’s been over a year and she has still not completed any additional paperwork and has now informed him that he is no longer allowed to contact her. Is there anything that he can do on his end to move this process along? Also, if you look at the docket is says that the case is “VACATED” under disposition as of 5/29/18.
If the docket shows a case is vacated that does not seem like a good sign. The case may have been dismissed. He may need to re-file a new case. Check with an attorney.
I filed divorce in sept 25, 2018 and he was served by posting and mailed to the last known address as per the service rules. He appeared at the court on nov 13th for our RFO ( temporary order for custody), we have another court date for continuing of RFO on feb 5th, 2019 and he still hasn’t filed response of my petition. Can I go ahead and file default? If I count the date then I was supposed to enter default on Dec 10th, 2018. What should I do? I am being impatient and want it done already.
Unfortunately, if our office is not helping you with the paperwork, we would not be in a position to give you any direction with regards to the process or timeline of your particular case.
My Fiance thought his divorce was final but after going to the court house (El Cajon, Ca) n trying to obtain a copy of the papers I was told that his case is still open, and either him or his wife needs to finish it. He is currently incarcerated and so I’m wondering would it be difficult for him to finish the divorce process from jail
We could certainly help finish the divorce even if he is incarcerated. Let us know. 800-747-2780.
I filed for divorce but my spouse responded after 30days and I able to go through divorce by default
If your spouse filed a Response before you filed the default request, unfortunately the matter cannot proceed by default.
Hello I was involved in a divorce in 2011 and I got finalized 2012 at the time our assets were negative 38,000 Although our agreement was to split the assets which would have been -19 thousand so she did not whant enything to do with me or the property. she move out of the property and out of the state remarry and now 2018 I Got Served to refinance or sell my home and give her half of the assets which now my property has $200,000 equity.I feel she abandoned the property and she doesn’t deserve anything from it what are my options thank you I’m in California.
I would recommend you have an attorney look at the court judgment.
A couple of days ago, I discovered that my husband had filed a divorce in August 2018 and used someone to file a proof of service with the court without my knowledge. He requested to enter default and it was approved by the court in late September. I contacted the courthouse and obtained the copies of the divorce papers. On the petition, it was written that there was no assets or whatsoever, which is a lie. Now it has been three months and three weeks since he allegedly served me with the divorce papers. I am now preparing a document to revoke the default setting.
My question is, what will happen if the court has already scheduled a default hearing? I want to submit the application to cancel the default setting as soon as possible, though. How long does it normally take to have a default hearing after default is entered by the court? Also, is there a way to nullify the default judgement ?
I would strongly recommend you get professional help from an office such as ours to help you with this paperwork if you want to have any chance of a successful outcome. You can reach us at 800-747-2780. This is nit something you should try to do on your own.
My husband filed a petition for divorce now he wants to dismiss it.Do I still need to answer in 30 days if the dismissal is filed Defoe’s my time is up?
If your husband dismisses the case, there would be no reason to file a response and pay a court filing fee.
I’m wondering about my case. It’s a summary dissolution and it clearly states my divorce terminates today since it’s the six month waiting period. Filed May 8th 2018. Talked to one clerk and it was told I would be able to pick up copies of decree next week then another stated they are back log from March and it may take longer.
Some courts are backlogged so this scenario is not uncommon. Keep calling the court. Often the squeaky wheel gets the grease!
My name is Jane and i have a question. My family law case finally went to trial in March. It was continued to September but on the first day we were to resume, the judge called a mistrial because this case is very hard and she was frustrated. This was my ex’s plan as he has delayed trial through every means available, including bankruptcy. We’ve been sent back to the lower level judge and the court wants us to start the process all over again with a mandatory settlement conference. We have no new trial dates. When the Judge “quit”, there were three separate matters before her. There is an RFO (filed last January) to increase spousal support that has not been heard; a sanctions motion for not production of documents per the court’s own order, and trial on the issues. How do I get the court to hear, and not just sit on, the RFO to increase spousal in the meantime?
You may want to try and refill your motion to get it back in calendar.
Hello, we’re in CA and my husband filed for divorce for almost 3 months ago and I haven’t been served with the papers because I moved. We are in the process of reconciling but he hasn’t dismissed the case yet. I saw online that the resolution conference is set for April 2019 and I’m wondering what’s going to happen if I don’t get served and when will the court automatically dismiss the case due to no activity?
Thank you for your assistance.
It is hard to say what the court will do. Usually a court will not dismiss an inactive case until several years of inactivity. (usually around 5 years)
Hi, Sandy I recently filed for divorce ,Both me and my ex wife were in total agreement and there was no contesting of anything as we do not have any kids,finances,or property together. My ex wife is a paralegal so she drew up the paperwork for us, I just filed it as she is in Arizona and I am in California, however I just received my paperwork back stating that a few things were missing and needed to be corrected. I sent the paperwork back to my ex wife as she instructed me but my question is will my six month date start from the date that I originally filed the divorce or will it start from the date she corrects what was wrong and resubmits the paperwork?
The 6 months starts from the date of SERVICE.
My son’s divorce is dragging on and on. It seems he has no rights whatsoever. His almost ex spouse doesn’t want the divorce he file last February. She has contested the divorce and has remain hidden, even from her attorney for the last four months. It doesn’t seem fair that my son can’t proceed with the divorce. In the meantime he still is paying her insurance and that of her daughter (daughter is 20 and living with her legal dad). A month before he filed for divorce she put him in debt over $10,000 which he is trying to pay-on top of retaining an attorney. I’ve helped him financially all I can and he cannot continue with an attorney. He is four months late in his mortgage for a house he bought 6 months after they separated. She has signed all the legal documents stating she has no interest in the house and the house is his solely. She responded to the divorce saying she wants half the equity in the house. He only owned it one month before he filed for divorce and he paid higher than the appraisal by 12,000. There is still no equity in the house. This is all she has told her attorney she wants to fight for. In the meantime, she is holding personal property of my sons in a storage unit that he cannot access. He is letting his attorney go today because neither of us can afford to pay her anymore money. Can we just ask the court for a date of dissolution and let the judge decide the property division?
There are probably several things that can be done. You may want to give our office a call if you need help with the paperwork. You reach us at 800-747-2780.
its been almost 1 year I filed for divorce. still now nothing any update I get.
I am so much frustrated, I have no idea what do I do, how long take time to get result of direct case. please give me some info
An uncontested divorce should not take a year to complete. It is a confusing process, however, and I understand how you could find this difficult on your own. I would suggest you contact our office at 800-747-2780 so we can check the court docket and see where the case is at and how we can help you get this finalized.
I just was served( I arranged a meeting location) for the divorce papers I’ve been separated 3 years. I agreed on a location and accepted the documents. Only question I have is the documents are dated 10-06-2015. Today’s date is 10-04-2018. What is the timeline here? I’m a little cautious to say the least.
It sounds like your spouse filed the divorce after you separated but never served you. The paperwork should be OK to use as long as the court case is still open. If you need help with preparing an agreement or finishing the case up, just let us know.
I’m trying to find out what will happen if my spouse moves before he receives the final judgement paperwork.
My spouse is incarcerated in California, where we both reside. I filed for a dissolution Nov. 2017, and had him served by the prison litigation officer. Following that, he responded, and was denied for non-payment. I just filed the final paperwork requesting judgement, but I now found out that he is scheduled to be released from prison this month. I am concerned that he will be released before he gets notice that I requested judgement, and he will definitely be released by the time the judgement is complete. My question is, if he doesn’t receive any of this final info will my final judgement still go through?
Thanks for the help!
Him receiving the documents has nothing to do with the court processing the Judgment. The Judgment is processed first and then mailed to the parties.
Divorce papers have been filed and served, and respondent file a response within the 30 days after being served. Does the respondent need to serve the petitioner a copy of their response within 60 days after filing a response? What happens if the respondent does not serve the petitioner a copy of their response that was filed?
If you know a Response has been filed but you were not served with it, I would simply order a copy from the court. If you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement you can reach out to us and we can help repair all of the final judgment documents, including the agreement. otherwise at this point the case will be basically at a standstill unless you file motions to get temporary orders or pursue discovery etc. to move towards a trial.
When your case says “Open” on the case index after several years ( since 2013′ ); What does it mean? Is it final….. Or Something else needs to be done?
It probably means not completed.
Good evening Sandy,
My wife filed divorce case without my knowledge in July 2017 as we don’t live together nor she knows where I live. When i check the superior court California website it shows last update as notice of progress of family law action filed. My question is what does that means ? secondly this is the last update on the website which is 02-20-2018 and since the there is no update. So I was wondering what is going on.
Well I would check the court file because it is possible to serve a spouse by publication. You don’t want to ignore this.
By checking court file you mean I have to personally go to the court house and check the case file physically? As I live in Atlanta.
You could perhaps hire a service to get copies of the file if you are not local.
How much would be the cost if I hire the service of your company
We would need to get some facts first. Fees run $499 to $775.Give us a call at 800-747-2780.
Good evening Sandy! I just filed form FL165 request to enter default. How long do I have to wait to file form to request default judgement
Hi Nora – We would be happy to help you finish up your divorce case if you would like to hire our services. Unfortunately unless we have copies of your file and have been retained we would not be able to comment since every case has different issues.
My fiancee filed for divorce in 2000 case #RFLRS028443. In 2013 his wife told us her lender said they were still married. Since that time we have repeatedly asked his lawyer to finalize the divorce, but he hasn’t and we are, or should I say were, to be married 8/8/2018. How much would it cost to finalize the divorce?
Call us so we can get more specific info. 800-747-2780.
Good evening Mrs. McCarthy. I am the Respondent to a Dissolution of Marriage. July 19th is our court hearing but the Petitioner and myself have yet to complete the required documents disclosing our debts and assets or a MSA and we are in the process of selling our home? What should we expect July 19th if both or one party fails to provide the required documents by that time? Can a continuance be requested? Thank you for your time.
What is the hold up to finalize your case? We can help if you both have a meeting of the minds. It’s hard to say the court’s position but they will probably not be happy the case is sitting idle. Call us and see how we can help! 800-747-2780.
I’m the petitioner in a dissolution, my 60 day window on disclosure is closing and I need time. Would would a simple email agreement with the respondent for more time be sufficient? Or does it need to be in a specific format and filed with the court? Thank you.
Usually the court is not that particular with completing the mandatory disclosures within that timeframe but you certainly could write an email to the Respondent as that wouuld show that you are working on it. Talk to an attorney if you need legal advice.
Hi. I filed for divorce last year back in 9/13/17. Served the papers right away and the case entered default on 11/06/17 (a little odd because i thought it should’ve been done 30 days after since there was no opposition from the other party, no children, no property). It’s 05/25/18 and I’m still not divorced. I did hired a lawyer thinking the process would have been quicker but there’s no response and the case has entered default again on 5/10/18. Any idea why my case is taking so long?
You could call us with your case number and we could look at your court docket to see what is going on.
Hi , I am planing to divorce in California, because of the new tax law, me and my husband r argue the alimony . We both want to have an uncontested divorce, if on the divorce agreement states that alimony can not be deducted by him, and I don’t need to pay tax for it. Is it ok? And how long will an uncontested dirvoce take? If our marriage finalizes after 1-1-2019 , but we are going to divorce now, does the new tax law will apply on our case? If we file uncontested dirvorce right now, do we still need to wait 6 month to be finalized?
We can certainly help you prepare your divorce documents but you are asking questions that constitute tax or legal advice which should be directed to a lawyer or CPA. When you are ready to proceed, give us a call at 800-747-2780.
My mother filed for legal separation but wants to withdraw the petition. My fathers POA refuses to sign it as she wants my parents separated so she has control of his assets. If my mother stops providing requested documents and stops attending hearings will the courts cancel the separation process.
I don’t believe it will stop the process and failure to attend hearings or comply with legal requirements to private de documentation may get her into trouble. She should speak to an attorney for advice.
My husband, filed for divorce in December in California I live in Virginia and he did not served me until now May. Is he allowed to wait that long to serve me? Is that paperwork valid that entire time or was he suppose to resubmit? The papers he send me were filed in court in December but signed his petition in October, there are different time frames during the oct-nov that the different papers were signed by him. This are the different forms FL 100, FL110, FL105/GC120, RI-FL036 along with the papers they send for me to respond FL120, FL105/GC120, FL142, FL150. I was not aware that he was serious about getting a divorce until I get served. He was making me think that he was going through a stage and to give him time, not until I got served that I found out he was serious about getting divorce. I guess my question is if that paperwork he send me still valid and if he can do that. It seem very shady to me that he waited so long to serve me. He is also there on orders, he is military about to retire in a couple of months.
I cannot comment on the validity of the paperwork but I can say that as long as the case is “active” there is usually no set time within which the documents should be served other than deadlines set by a court. You probably will need to hire a company like ours to help you file a response and perhaps other motions you may need to get orders to protect your interests. You can reach us at 800-747-2780 for help.
Happen to come across a doc stating osc-re: dismissal ..what does this mean ? I guess i would be considered the respondent.. Thank you!
It means the court has set the matter for dismissal because the case has not been timely completed. You should call us assp to get this finished so it will not be dismissed. 800-747-2780.
My girlfriend filed for divorce February of 2017 and got rejection notice on October of 2017 that she missing a form and she fixed whatever was missing and then another rejection on February 2018 because they had her name wrong as Petitioner she had all the paperwork right they wrote her name somewhere wrong in the system so we had to do an Amended on march 2018 and very much applied everything from the beginning, she just got the Summons form from the court and will file judgment this week, now the question is the 6 months will start over starting March 2018 or it should started last year already when she first filed? how long should we expect for the final divorce?
thank you for your time.
Sounds messy but I don’t think your girlfriend has followed proper procedure. We would be happy to help you get this fixed. Call us at 800-747-2780.
Good Morning Mrs. McCarthy,
My boyfriend got divorced in 2006/2007 & made sure that the judge left the community debt reserved so they could re-visit it at a later date(she did some shady deals & open several credit cards under his name without him knowing). In addition one of these creditors had served him some court papers about the 5,000 debt owed, he assumed that they were mistaken because he had never opened a chase bank acct or credit card( his wife would get all mail before he got home & even had the father-in-laws mail stopped while they were on vacation so no one would find out what she was up too. Now almost 12 years later that creditor is trying to get the $ which has turned from 5,000 to a whopping 19,000!!!!!! Even trying to attach his wages, which they can’t current due to an irs garnishment that is currently in effect. The ex-wife also did his taxes the last yr they were married & double filed & got him in more financial trouble.
My brother is in law school & said we could possibly sue her for part of the community debt & maybe some of the tax debt she got him into. My boyfriend said the judge left the community debt reserved in the divorce, so I guess my question is “is there a time limit or a statue of limitations on debt that is reserved in a 2006/2007 divorce?”
We want to move forward with our relationship but he has a lot of financial baggage that I am trying to help him maneuver through that way we have things somewhat settled & off of his plate.
I hope this wasn’t too confusing! Thank you again for your time!!
Cannot comment as to statute of limitations. That’s a question you will have to ask an attorney as it is giving legal advice. We are not lawyers.
I am in the middle of a divorce in California. I will be receiving spousal and child support. My question is, if my girls and I move in with my parents so I can have physical support for my girls while I am at work and hopefully attending school, will I still be able to collect whatever spousal support I will be rewarded. My husband informed me that if I live with my parents, that counts as them supporting my financially and I would not likely receive any spousal support. I just want to know if that is in fact correct.
It would not be normal for the amount of spousal support to be based on you living or not living with other persons such as your parents. I would suggest you carefully read the order to see what it says. If you need legal advice or interpretation of the order, you may want to contact a lawyer.
our msa was turned in and we are waiting for the judge to sign off and have it recorded. my soon to be ex is closing escrow on a new home not in the MSA and wants me to sign an interspousal transfer grant deed but it wasn’t part of the MSA am I required to transfer the grant deed. technically we are still married
Most likely it is a requirement of the bank he is using to finance the purchase. I am not sure why you would be unwilling to sign it since obviously the property being purchased is not community property nor does it seem you would have any interest it. If I were you, I would try to cooperate. If you feel you need legal advice, talk to an attorney.
Hi, I want to divorce my husband, I do not want to leave the house for fear of losing custody of my children. At what point can I leave the house with out him filing abandonment. Also this is an uncontested divorce.
Unlike some other states, Abandonment is not a legal basis for divorce in California. That kind of allegation is a non-issue. Talk to an attorney if you need legal advice.
Is there a timeline to get a divorce finalized? I was told it expires after 5 years from the filing date if it hadn’t been settled?
A court will eventually file a motion to dismiss the case but it varies between courts when this is done.
I live in CA. I filed for legal separation and had my wife served. However, we are now reconciling. I did not submit the proof of service with the court (there was a lengthy delay in getting her served and then I was out of town for a week+).
Our status check isn’t until June. Do I need to file anything with the court to withdraw my separation petition? Or can I just let it expire since I was supposed to file proof of service within 30 days?
You should probably dismiss your case.
I have an odd situation. My ex left one day and never came back … which was ok by me. We do not have children together nor property. He left oct 2012 .. and I still have never heard from him or tried to make contact myself. My daughter, who is not his , has seen him recently, but nothing was mentioned. After he left I was as counseled to file abandonment charges by an attorneys office. I went to do that Jan 2013 and was told that it was something I could no longer do. Bottom line … it’s been since 2012 … I don’t consider myself married in fact I actually forgot I was. I don’t know where he is residing … I don’t want anything from him and I’m sure he feels the same. What’s the easiest cheapest quickest way to just get this done and over with.
It is possible to get a divorce. California law does not have a premise of abandonment charges under which you could file a divorce so I am surprised that an attorney would tell you that unless, of course, you do not live in California. We could help you file for divorce if you were interested in doing that. Please contact our ofice at 800-747-2780.
My husband lives in CA and I live in WI. He has an attorney and I do not and he is the petitioner. As a respondent, do I have to do proof of service to him and to his attorney? How about mailing my response to the court? I cannot do proof of service yet if the court does not stamp “file endorsed” on my response form right?
Yes you do and it should be attached to your Response before it is filed with the court.
My question is if I initially filed for divorce and we had an MSA ( that did not address spousal) but then my ex got an attorney and we went back and forth and ended up settling the spousal issue the night before our trial was scheduled what has to happen now, meaning do I need to file any other forms or do we just wait for the judge to sign off on it since we have settled and do we still need to file the original MSA?
It’s hard to answer your question without knowing what documents were filed and what documents were not filed. You may want to talk to an attorney to review your file if you are not sure where you are in the case. You can also review the court docket either online or by going to the courthouse.
Hi there! My divorce case was a true default and I submitted all the appropriate documents such as FL-190, FL-165, FL-180 & Fl-170 by mail back in October and the divorce termination date is for 2-17-18. My question is will I receive anything other than my forms that were endorsed by the court back in October? Also, do I need to serve the documents and file a proof of summons again? Thank you in advance.
unfortunately without looking at the documents you submitted I would not be able to provide any response to your question. When a judgment is entered, you always receive a conformed copy of the entered judgment. If you did not receive that, there probably was that problem with your paperwork.
I filed for divorce February 2017 it is now February 2018 and he has yet to respond. Can I continue to move forward?
Most likely if the case is still active. Give us a call at 800-747-2780.
Hi. My husband filed dismissed the divorce case on April 3, 2018 in California. And today (4/24/2018) I found online the case shows “off calendar, complied with resolution program”. Please tell me what is that mean? Is that mean this case already cancelled or this case is still going on? Thank you very much!
I would contact the court clerk’s office where the case was filed to find out where the case stands.
My ex filed for divorce 11/15/17… I was told he had 60 days to serve me the paperwork? I have not recieved anything yet. does that mean he has to refile?
No but if you want to move the case along you can simply go to the court, get a copy of the filed paperwork, and find a Response.. Let us know if you need help.
File divorce 1998, want to marry my girlfriend. Have been together 9 years have 3 children together. My question is after the divorce goes thru do I have to wait six months to get married?
If you filed divorce in 1998 and never completed your case, it may have been dismissed. I would suggest giving our office a call so we can check the docket. Our contact number is 800-747-2780.
Hi, I am going thru a divorce, my son is representing my wife against me. He is purposely delaying the case by asking more documents. I have an attorney, She says that we can’t ask for court date until all the discoveries have been finished. Is that true?
Discovery is part of the normal legal process before a matter proceeds to trial.
My husband and his ex divorced 20 yrs ago in CA. They had an MSA, but the law office (a paralegal) failed to file the MSA with the courts. At least that is how it appears as the MSA can not be found anywhere. The judge in the case signed off on the divorce, as far as anyone can tell.We are now back in court fighting with his ex because she has decided after 20 yrs (and another marriage and another divorce) that she wants some money.
We had a trial today, and the judge handling the case now, can not figure out what happened to the MSA, why the judge 20 yrs ago signed off on the divorce without one, if the para committed malpractice, or what. The judge does not know if there is even any precedent for anything like this in CA.
We are set to do another phone hearing in Oct. Do you know if there is a precedent for anything like this in CA? We are representing ourselves because we don’t have the funds to hire an attorney. His only income is SSD. The money that was in his retirement account back then is now gone as he became disabled 4 yrs ago, and he had to pull funds out of it (that were rolled over into an Annuity 15 yrs ago) for various reasons over the years.
His ex admitted in court today that she failed to follow through 20 yrs ago, with making sure she got all the necessary paperwork filed ie: MSA and QDRO.
This is the strangest story I’ve ever heard. We may be able to help you prepare the appropriate responsive documentation and our fees would certainly be lower than that of an attorney. I would be curious seeing her moving paperwork! please feel free to give us a call at 800-747-2780. You can speak with either myself or David.
Sandy, I didn’t realize you had replied to my comment. I am doing some more research today, and what happens? We get a letter in the mail. From my hubby’s ex-wife’s attorney, saying she is no longer representing his ex, and that from now on his ex is representing herself.
We are a bit stunned. Why would an attorney either be let go after fighting this for almost a year, or why would the attorney say they couldn’t represent my hubby’s ex anymore. It is confusing as all get out. I mean there was a lot of stuff that came out in the hearing…for example, the ex admitting she knew the retirement was there at the time of the divorce (even though all this time the lawyer has been stating that her client did not know about the funds, so they were an ommited assest) and she filed the paperwork for the but then never followed through, and when asked why she even decided to file this after 20 yrs, her response was because someone she was talking to who retired from the same company had a really good retirement fund through the company, so she decided to try and get some money now. (even though my hubby never retired from the company…the company was bought out and he transferred to another company)
So now we wonder….did her attorney tell her there was nothing more she could do? We have a lot of questions now. But anyway, we are sending the judge all of the results I have found doing research on this, and I guess we will see what happens in 3 weeks.
I know, it is all kind of mind boggling.
Probably the attorney’s bill was not paid. It is hard to say but that is usually the number one reason why an attorney would pull out of a case.
If the responding spouse Does Not have money for fees Or Not doing his part to fill, to respond and to Proceed on with divorce, What will happen to the Petioner then …
The Petitioner should be able to proceed by way of default. The paperwork is a bit more complex. Give us a call for help with the required paperwork. 800-747-2780.
My ex filed for divorce in late 2014 but never finished the process. I have not seen or heard from him since and I want it over with but I live in Colorado and the case is still active in California. What are my options?
Lorita – please call the office so we can look at the court docket and see where the case is at. We can certainly help you but we need more info. Our telephone number is 800-747-2780.
Interesting piece – I loved the info , Does someone know where I could possibly access a fillable CA FL-142 form to work with ?
The FL-142 is typically not used on its own in a divorce process, but rather is one of several forms used in the disclosure process. Typically these forms can be obtained through the court’s website . Please let us know if you need assistance complying with the disclosure requirements.
My daughter filed for divorce in March and the papers were served. The estranged husband did not respond within the 30 days.
She was told by the court he filed a document.
Can he still contest after the 30 days?
If she did not proceed with the default then yes he could file a response, even after the 30 day period of time.
My husband filed and forged everything so it “appears” like I received everything, however I’m not even living at the place he supposedly served me at. What are MY options?
Talk to an attorney asap!
The court probably set a status hearing because the case is not proceeding in a timely manner.