Fremont Divorce Attorney Comments on Default Dissolution
Many people are familiar with the following situation: couple breaks up, decides to get divorced. If you are considering divorce please contact one of our San Jose Divorce Lawyers. One party files the petition for dissolution and, after being properly served, the other party does not file a response. This scenario plays out usually in one of two ways: the non-responding party cannot be found or does not care, or the non-responding party does not want to participate but the parties already have an agreement.
The issue for the petitioner becomes how to get a divorce without a proper response from the other party. In California, the answer is to proceed by default. After the petition is filed and served, there is a 30 day period for the respondent to file his or her response. If that is not done, then the petitioner may file a request to enter a default judgment against the respondent. Once the default has been entered, the petitioner can submit a proposed judgment to the court. Some counties require this be done in person at a hearing, whereas others do not.
Obtaining a default judgment against the respondent can be quick and easy, or it may be complicated. Sometimes the parties may have a written agreement they want the court to enter as a judgment. Courts often have particular rules about accepting these types of agreements, so it pays to do some research ahead of time. Default judgments can be entered on all the issues that may arise in a marital dissolution proceeding, including property division, child custody and visitation, as well as child and spousal support.
Default judgments are also available to petitioners in nullity and parentage matters. Anybody seeking a default should know that courts prefer for cases to be decided on the substantive issues, rather than by default, so the defaulted party does have the option of seeking to set aside any judgment obtained. Therefore, it is advisable that you proceed by default after you have reviewed all your choices.
Regardless of circumstances, it is wise to seek the advice of experienced attorneys like ours if you are trying to get a default entered, or you think your divorce may proceed by default. Our family law attorneys have successfully obtained default judgments in cases in Alameda, Santa Clara and other counties around the San Francisco Bay Area. We have offices in San Jose, Fremont and Monterey, and we offer a free initial thirty minute consultation, either in person or by phone. Call our office today to schedule your appointment.