Often we are contacted by divorcing couples with regards in how to file a final judgment in divorce. First, to finish your divorce, you must have completed the required financial disclosures. Once that has been done, the forms required to complete and file the judgment forms with the court clerk will depend on the status of the case. Contact A People’s Choice if you need help finalizing your divorce case and getting your final Judgment. Read on to learn how to file a final judgment in divorce.
How to File a Final Judgment in Divorce When No Response Filed and no Agreement Reached
If your spouse did not file a response to the Petition for Dissolution, and you have not reached an agreement on the issues mentioned above, you have a “true default” divorce. In this case it may be a little more difficult to determine how to file a final Judgment in a divorce. We are often contacted in this situation because the court has rejected the final judgment documents because of various document deficiencies. We recommend hiring a professional legal document assistant if you find yourself in the situation. As a general overview, however, to file a final judgment for a default divorce, you must complete the following forms:
- Request to Enter Default
- Declaration of Default or Uncontested Dissolution or Legal Separation
- Notice of Entry of Judgment
You may need to complete other forms if you are asking for child support, spousal support, and/or child custody and visitation. The following applicable forms must be attached to your judgment:
Child Custody & Visitation
- Child Custody and Visitation (Parenting Time) Order Attachment
- Supervised Visitation Order
- Child Abduction Prevention Order Attachment
- Children’s Holiday Schedule Attachment
- Additional Provisions — Physical Custody Attachment; or
- Joint Legal Custody Attachment
- Child Support Information and Order Attachment
- Income and Expense Declaration or a Financial Statement (Simplified)
- Child Support Case Registry Form
- Notice of Rights and Responsibilities — Health Care Costs and Reimbursement Procedures and Information Sheet on Changing a Child Support Order
- Income Withholding for Support
Spousal or Partner Support
- Spousal or Partner Support Declaration Attachment
- Spousal, Partner, or Family Support Order Attachment
- Income and Expense Declaration
- Earnings Assignment Order for Spousal or Partner Support
Division of Community Assets & Debts
- Property Order Attachment to Judgment
- Property Declaration
- Pension Benefits – Attachment to Judgment
To help you process your final judgment in divorce, all of the California judicial council forms can be found here. However, in addition to the forms referenced above, some courts may need you to complete extra local forms. Refer to the court’s website where your case is filed for a list of their local forms. You must submit to the court clerk the original final judgment forms and at least two copies (one copy will be for you and the other for your spouse). Serve a copy of the above referenced applicable forms on the respondent. File the proof of service with the court clerk. Make sure you also file your Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure. If everything is in order, the judge will sign the judgment without you having to appear in court. If there are mistakes on your documents, the clerk will send them back to you for revisions and you should call our office for professional help!
The court clerk will mail the judgment and the notice of entry of judgment to you and your spouse.
How to File a Final Judgment in Divorce When No Response is Filed and An Agreement is Reached
When No Response Was Filed and an Agreement Reached
If your spouse did not file a response to the Petition for Dissolution but you reached an agreement, the process is a little less complicated. You will need to complete and file the following judgment forms with the court clerk:
- Marital Settlement Agreement (must be notarized)
- Request to Enter Default or an Appearance, Stipulations, and Waiver
- Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution or Legal Separation
- Notice of Entry of Judgment
- Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure
- Stipulation and Waiver of Final Declaration of Disclosure (if applicable)
The key part of this process is a marital settlement agreement. California (and in some cases each court) have established required terms and verbiage that must be included in marital settlement agreements. The required language for the marital settlement agreement will be based upon a couple’s particular situation. If the required language is not included in the agreement, the judgment can be be rejected! In addition, you may need to complete other forms if you are asking for child support, spousal support, and/or child custody and visitation. These extra documents would be attached to the judgment and marital settlement agreement. You will need to decide what applicable forms referenced above should be used to address child support, child custody and visitation, spousal or partner support, and division of assets and debts. Your decision will be based upon your particular situation. As mentioned above, the services of an experience registered legal document assistant can be extremely valuable at this stage of the process, making sure that your judgment complies with all local rules and will be acceptable by the court.
How to File a Final Judgment in Divorce When A Response is Filed
When a Response Was Filed and an Agreement Reached
If your spouse filed a response and you reached an agreement, your divorce will be considered uncontested. You must have your marital settlement agreement notarized and complete the forms referenced in the section above (No Response Filed and an Agreement Reached).
Response Filed and no Agreement Reached
If your spouse filed a response and you are unable to reach an agreement, your divorce is considered contested. Issues you are unable to resolve with your spouse must be decided by the judge. In order to get the case on calendar, you must file a form to set a trial date on your spouse. You must also attend a settlement conference before trial. Proceeding to trial to trial has its own set of rules and requirements. If the only way you can complete your divorce proceeding is by “Judgment after trial”, contact A People’s Choice to help you with regards to all necessary paperwork.
We hope the above referenced information helps. There is no need to stress about how to file a final judgment in divorce. Simply, contact A People’s Choice for low-cost, experienced help to complete your divorce paperwork! Our friendly staff is available Monday through Sunday from 7:30 am to 8:30 pm at 800-747-2780.
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