Experience & Skill Matters
Work With Us
When You Need It Most

Process of Obtaining a Judgment in a Divorce Matter

Latest News

There are 4 ways/types of obtaining a divorce judgments:

  1. Default With No Agreement (no response and no written agreement)
  2. Default With Agreement (no response, but there is a written agreement)
  3. Uncontested Case (response filed, or other appearance by respondent, and a written agreement)
  4. Going to trial

Default With No Agreement

This type of judgment occurs when one party, the Petitioner, begins the divorce process, and the other party, the Respondent, does not respond. In that circumstance, the court will then proceed with the divorce without the Respondent’s participation or agreement.

Necessary Forms:

  • Proof of Service of Summons (form FL-115) or other proof of service
  • Request to Enter Default (form FL-165), with a stamped envelope addressed to the respondent and the court clerk’s address as the return address
  • Petitioner’s Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-141)
  • Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution or Legal Separation (form FL-170)
  • Judgment (form FL-180) (3 copies)
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment (form FL-190)
  • 2 stamped envelopes of sufficient size and with sufficient postage to return the Judgment and Notice of Entry of Judgment, one envelope addressed to the petitioner and the other to the respondent.

Note: If assets need to be divided, the Petitioner is seeking child support for minor children, the Petitioner is seeking spousal support, and/or the Petitioner is requesting attorney’s help, there are more forms to be filled out.

Default With Agreement

 

This type of judgment occurs when the Petitioner and the Respondent agree to the terms of the divorce, such as property division and child support, but the Respondent does not want to file a response or pay the responsive first appearance filing fee to file a response to the petition with the Court.

Necessary Forms:

  • Proof of Service of Summons (form FL-115) or other proof of service
  • Request to Enter Default (form FL-165), with a stamped envelope addressed to the respondent and the court clerk’s address as the return address
  • Petitioner’s Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-141) (preliminary)
  • Declaration Regarding Service of Final Declaration of Disclosure
    • Petitioner’s Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-141) (final) or
    • Stipulation and Waiver of Final Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-144) or
    • Separately filed waiver or waiver included in a written agreement under Family Code section 2105(d)
  • Declaration for Default or Uncontested Dissolution or Legal Separation (form FL-170)
  • Written agreement of the parties. Respondent’s signature on the agreement must be notarized. (attach to Judgment.)
  • Judgment (form FL-180) (3 copies)
  • Notice of Entry of Judgment (form FL-190)
  • 2 stamped envelopes of sufficient size and with sufficient postage to return the Judgment and Notice of Entry of Judgment, one envelope addressed to petitioner and the other to respondent

Note: The main difference between the necessary forms for a default judgment without an agreement and a default judgment with an agreement is that there is a final declaration of disclosure that needs to be filed in addition to the preliminary declaration of disclosure (unless the parties chose to waive final declaration of disclosures), and the written agreement between the parties that lists out items such as how they plan to dole out property and what they agree to as far as child support, must be attached to these forms.

Uncontested

 

This type of judgment occurs when the Petitioner files, and the Respondent files a response or makes another appearance, and there is also a written agreement. This type of situation is beneficial for both parties, not only because they have come to an agreement about all aspects of the divorce, but there is no need for any lengthy trial or extensive court proceedings since both parties have come to an agreement outside of court.

Necessary Forms:

The forms necessary are the same as the forms necessary for a default judgment with agreement, with the exception of one form which is not necessary: Request to Enter Default (form FL-165). Additionally, the respondent does have to do their preliminary declaration of disclosure documents as well as pay the first appearance filing fee.

Contested

 

This type of judgment occurs when the Petitioner files, and even though the Respondent files a response, the parties are unable to agree on one or more key aspects of divorce. This then leads both parties to have to participate in court proceedings, which could potentially lead to trial, where the judge then rules on the disputed aspects of the divorce.

Through a divorce proceeding there can be some agreements along the way or ultimate a global agreement on all issues. However, most cases end in settlement.

Related Articles
...

How To Get a Legal Name Change After Divorce in California

Read More
...

Navigating the Virtual Courtroom

Read More
...

Your Rights As A Consumer

Read More