Typically with a divorce, one spouse serves the other spouse with a petition. The recipient either agrees or contests the terms of the divorce and files a response. But what if the recipient doesn’t respond at all? Here’s what can happen if you fail to sign your divorce papers.
Default Divorce in California
Like most other states, California requires that your spouse make every effort to appropriately serve you with the divorce petition. If your spouse is unable to successfully have you served, they may need to file a motion with the court to put a notice in the newspaper. After sufficient time has passed, your spouse is likely to be granted a divorce by default.
Your Ex Can Still Pursue a Divorce
If you receive the divorce papers and refuse to sign or are otherwise notified of the divorce and don’t respond, your ex can still move forward with the divorce after a period of time. If you do not wish to consent to a divorce, you must respond to the petition by contesting it.
Benefits of Allowing a Default Divorce
There are some benefits to allowing divorce by default. In some cases, spouses who agree on the terms of the split may decide ahead of time to have one person file and the other “refuse to respond” in order for the petitioner to be granted a default divorce. This may be done to save on attorney’s fees when there’s no reason for either spouse to contest the terms of the divorce.
Cons of a Divorce by Default
Naturally, there are some caveats to divorcing by default. Sometimes, one spouse will try to pursue a default divorce by doing everything possible to avoid properly serving divorce papers to the other so the other spouse won’t have enough time to respond.
Deciding not to respond to a divorce petition means you waive your rights to contest any and all issues in the divorce, and it’s important that you fully understand the potential impacts a default divorce can have before agreeing to it.
Get Help From an Experienced California Attorney Today
Are you considering pursuing a divorce by default? Or do you believe your ex-spouse may be attempting to obtain a default divorce by intentionally serving you the divorce petition in a way that makes it difficult for you to respond? You need legal help. Contact Grace Lea Chang for your consultation today at (626) 792-5888.