In a perfect world, you and your spouse agree that the marriage no longer works. You negotiate a way out. Next, you file the documents jointly at the appropriate California court. However, this isn’t a perfect world. What are your options when your spouse won’t cooperate and sign the paperwork?
Defaulting in a divorce
If you’re the one who is filing for divorce, the court considers you the petitioner. This means that your spouse is the respondent. If it is an amicable process, you would file the paperwork and your soon-to-be-ex would then accept service of process of the petition and summons. They would then fill out the details and sign the paperwork.
When there is no agreement and your spouse refuses, you may look at a default case. This means that the respondent let the customary 30 days go by without taking any action in the divorce. However, it’s a little more complicated than just having things work out in your favor from here on out.
It takes plenty of paperwork to overcome a default
As the petitioner filing for divorce, you now have to approach the court for assistance. You must ask the judge to issue a declaration for default. If there aren’t any marital assets and no children, you may be able to stop the paperwork here.
However, if you have children, you also have to work out custody. Next, there is the question of child support. Besides that, if there are assets to divide, you need to show the court a fair way to do so. Because it gets quite complicated in these situations, many petitioners decide to work with an attorney to navigate these waters and dissolve the marriage.