Divorce can be complicated, especially if you've been married for a while and have minor children. The first step to divorce is serving papers; the recipient would need to respond.

So, how do you respond? Here's what you should know about responding to getting served divorce papers handled by Los Angeles divorce attorneys:

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The Initial Steps To Serving And Responding To Divorce In Los Angeles

What Paperwork is Included in the Divorce Proceedings?

In California, the following conditions must be satisfied for divorce documents to be deemed valid:

  • One or both of the spouses must have spent at least three months in the county where the case is being filed and at least six months living in California. The couple is ineligible to seek divorce if the first condition is not met. However, after the residency criteria are satisfied, they can file for a legal separation and later alter their divorce petition.
  • After determining their eligibility, the divorcing spouse must complete numerous forms, including a divorce petition, summons, asset declaration, child custody applications, and a court conference hearing date.

This process can be intimidating and confusing. There are a lot of requirements that need to be met on top of some going through something potentially distressful. A prescreened California family law attorney can help get through each step of the divorce process and ensure you file the right documents in time.

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How Do You Respond To Receiving Divorce Papers?

The receiving party has 30 days from the date they were served with divorce papers to reply after receiving them. The recipient may respond in two ways: doing nothing or submitting a formal response.

Here's how you can do them:

1. Taking No Action

This indicates that the judge will probably grant anything the petitioner's spouse asks for in the divorce papers. It is referred to as a default. The party is defaulting by not responding and is therefore not participating in the divorce. This indicates that the party does not object to any petitioning spouse's petitions or the divorce itself and that they have also waived their right to participate in the case.

Even if they choose not to respond, the person with a formal and notarized agreement with their spouse outlining their mutual decision to dissolve the marriage and their consent to the terms of the property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, etc. will have the final say in the decision. This is still the default, but the agreement gives the party the right to make the final decision.

2. Submitting A Response

In this case, recipients can respond and come to a compromise with their partners. Due to the parties' complete agreement before the divorce, this is also regarded as an uncontested divorce.

The party may also post a response in which you disapprove of the other spouse's demands. This is referred to as a "contested divorce," which necessitates that the court renders all final judgments. The parties may also include their own stipulations and expectations for the result.

It's crucial to remember that parties who ignore divorce documents lose all control over the situation. These parties voluntarily waive their rights to participate in the proceedings by failing to react. As a result, the court will likely approve all of the other spouse's demands.

This means the other party must grant their spouse's request if they claim a particular property or asset or ask for a specific amount of alimony.

Since many of your financial and custody rights ride on your participation in the divorce, it's crucial to consult a prescreened divorce lawyer in Los Angeles on what you should do and how to handle them.

How Do I Submit My Response For Divorce Papers In California?

Individuals will have 30 days to reply from the day they were served on the divorce papers. A response to a divorce petition essentially responds to all inquiries and details in the initial divorce documents. A party that chooses to reply to a divorce petition must fill out and submit various paperwork.

These documents include:

  • Response Form (FL-120)
  • Unified Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act Declaration (Form FL-105)
  • Application for Child Custody and Visitation (Form FL-311)
  • Proof of Personal Service (Form FL-330)

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Find A California Family Law Attorney Near Me

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