What Happens When My Spouse Ignores the Divorce Filing?

Marriage is a commitment. So is divorce. Rarely do spouses take the decision of getting a divorce lightly, and both parties have to make their own commitments as the divorce process gets underway. In some cases, however, one spouse completely refuses to participate in the process – ignoring the divorce filing altogether.

Our team has worked with clients in California who have filed for a divorce but have a spouse who does not want to get a divorce and refuses to accept the reality of the situation. So, what happens if your spouse refuses to participate?

Request a Default Order

You can default on a divorce just like you can default on a loan. This allows you to go through the divorce process with the courts on your own, even if your spouse refuses. The family court system in California does not want to allow individuals to hold their spouses hostage when a marriage has ended.

In order to submit for a default judgment, your spouse must have been served at least 30 days ago and failed to submit a response. The court will need Proof of Service of Summons and a Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure and Income and Expense Declaration in order to proceed.

Submit an Income and Expense Declaration

Along with assets and debts, the court will need an Income and Expense Declaration. This form will be especially relevant in cases where child or spousal support is being requested or is necessary. This information will be used in that calculation.

Submit a Schedule of Assets and Debts

Once the court has the necessary proof that your spouse has been notified and the prerequisite time has passed, the court will ask you to provide a Schedule of Assets and Debts. This provides a map of the assets and debts that will need to be split by the court.

Attend a Default Hearing

If you don’t have children, significant community property, and don’t need child or spousal support then the court can issue a default judgment by mail. However, if these issues need to be addressed, the court will schedule a hearing to make determinations in your case.

If the other party has refused to participate in the process to this point, they will not be notified about the default hearing and only you need to be present. During this hearing, the court will consider child custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, and the division of assets.

Work with an Attorney

This can be done on your own, but you will still have to make statements about how you believe your divorce should be finalized. Fighting for child custody on your own can be challenging, even if your spouse won’t participate in the process.

At KL Family Law, we can help you navigate the complexities of securing a default judgment in a California divorce case. Contact our team and we will help you move forward with compassion and integrity.

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KL Family Law

At KL Family Law, we understand that your primary concern is the well-being of your children. We strive to offer tailored solutions for your family law needs and help you move forward through this difficult transition.

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