What is an Uncontested Divorce?
To start the California divorce process a divorce Petition must be filed. The spouse who files for divorce (the petitioner) must thenserve the other spouse with a copy of the divorce papers. As part of the California divorce process, the other spouse (the respondent) has 30 days to submit a response to the divorce petition. The most complex divorce cases are contested divorce cases, which means that the respondent submits a response. If this happens, it means that the respondent does not agree with all the terms of the divorce that the petitioner included in the divorce petition. Before they can finalize their divorce, the parties must reach an agreement through mediation, or else have a judge decide one at trial.
By contrast, in an uncontested divorce, the respondent does not file a response. His lack of response means that he accepts the terms listed in the petition and the California divorce process can proceed without a trial. The judge just has to sign off on the divorce petition and declare the marriage over. Uncontested divorce happens in six steps, listed below.
The Steps of the California Divorce Process for Uncontested Divorces
- File a divorce petition, containing your requests for the terms of the divorce, including possession of the marital home and, if applicable, parenting time.
- Formally serve your spouse with the divorce papers
- Exchange information with your spouse about each party’s assets, income, and debts.
- Create and sign a marital settlement agreement.
- Submit a request to enter a default judgment. The soonest you can do this is 31 days after you serve your spouse with the divorce papers.
- The court issues a divorce judgment. The judgment specifies the date that your marriage officially ends. That date must be at least six months and one day after you served your spouse with divorce papers.
If Uncontested Divorce Does Not Work
The California divorce process can take many different paths. Obviously, uncontested divorce is easier, emotionally and financially, than contested divorce. It does not always work, though. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a marital settlement agreement, you might need a mediator or lawyer to help you work things out.
A Legal Document Assistant can Help You Get an Uncontested Divorce
Choosing a legal document assistant to help you get through the California divorce process is a great cost-savings solution for an uncontested divorce. Contact A People’s Choice at 800-747-2780 to get all the documents you need for your uncontested divorce professionally prepared.
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