Divorce Court Awards Party Community Property Then Judgment Reflects Different Orders

Today I had an interesting question posed to me via email from someone he reached out to me for help. Their question was regarding prove up hearing’s which is where the court sets of hearing when you have filed a default judgment and they want to bring you in to ask questions about your proposed judgment.

Generally speaking, The court will ask you to come in for a prove up hearing if you have questions related to things such as community property division spell support child support or specific requests that go against Court policy.

In this particular question they had gone to a hearing and the court agreed to give the petitioner to community property assets. But when she got the judgment in the mail after it was processed by the court she noticed that the two community property items that the court granted to her now said that they were reserved for later jurisdiction and determination.

So what I advised her to do is to get a copy of the minute order from the court room so she could see if the clerk properly wrote down what the judge ordered. If the minute order does not show the order the judge made i advised her to get a copy of the transcript which is the word for word discussion in the court room where as the minute order is just the highlights and notes.

Once she gets a copy of the minute order and or the transcription we will be able to see if it was the courts mistake or whether the judge made a decision after the hearing to reserve jurisdiction over the issues of community property or if they change their mind.

When Spouse Dies During Divorce What Do You Do?

This is probably the second or third time I am remember this happening, but this morning I open up my email and the first email I read is from a client who says that their spouse had passed away and was wondering what they had to do.

From the perspective of what you need to do procedurally when a spouse dies during the divorce and the case has not finalized yet, is that you need to dismiss the divorce case.

If you filed for divorce and your spouse never responded, then you can dismiss your case with just your signature. If you had a divorce case where your spouse filed their response, then normally you would need their signature to dismiss the case.

So when you need to dismiss your case when one of the parties has passed away, you will still need to file the request for dismissal, but you will need to attach a copy of the death certificate to the request for dismissal form so the court can see that they have passed away.

These are unfortunate circumstances that occur and is a good reminder that it can happen during the divorce process. It is also good to remember to make sure all your financial affairs are in order and have been discussed, especially when going through a divorce.

One can just hope that during the divorce process, where one of the parties dies, is that folks did not let life insurance policies lapse. I know many times when people are going through a divorce, they sort of put those things on hold for some reason.

California Divorce | Spouse Won’t Sign Notice Of Acknowledgment Of Receipt

This is as much a rant as it is instructional and conversational about divorce and divorce procedure in California. This discussion is about when you file for divorce and how to serve your spouse in the most amicable way possible.

When going through divorce in California, you don’t have to personally serve your spouse. When clients hire our firm, we want to make sure that your divorce case remains amicable. To this end, we make sure we never have your spouse personally served the divorce papers. I don’t care how amicable you think you and your spouse are, have a process server slap some divorce papers in their face at work or home and I can guarantee you are going to hear about it.

But what i don’t understand is that I have a few divorce cases right now, where the parties hired me to help them with their California divorce and after we have the case filed, we sent the notice of acknowledgment of receipt to the other spouse and they refuse to sign it.

I feel that it is not so much that they don’t want to cooperate, rather that they feel that by signing this form they are agreeing to the divorce when they maybe not really want it. It seems that they think that if they are “personally served” divorce papers, that, even though they agree to getting a divorce, they feel that by not signing this form, that they will feel as if their spouse divorce them and that it was not what they wanted.

Just know this. While I don’t understand your decision to not sign the FL-117, I do understand that there are principles that you feel you are following and that nobody else might understand. But also understand this. If you don’t sign this form, you force the other party to serve the divorce papers to you personally which may come at a time not convenient and that might be embarassing.

Either way, you will have to be served and I don’t find any good reason why someone would prefer to be served divorce papers personally when they can just sign a form saying they got a copy.

Just my two sense and nothing more…

California Divorce Judgment Rejected | FL-170 Wrong or Missing

Ok, another article and podcast on how to handle the issues when your California divorce judgment is rejected. This one is about form FL-170. This is a mandatory, what I call “procedural” form. It essentially lets the court know what type of divorce case you are filing. Is your case a default with agreement, default without agreement or uncontested divorce case.

The other thing it advises the court is what the status of your financial disclosures are. Meaning, you both disclosed and is a uncontested case or is it a default with agreement where you both agree to waive your final declaration of disclosures.

Divorce Judgment Rejection : Prior To Submission Of Judgment Default Must Be Entered

Divorce Judgment Rejection : Prior To Submission Of Judgment Default Must Be Entered

In this article and podcast I am explaining how to correct the issue of having your divorce judgment rejected when you either don’t file the FL-165 or make errors when submitting the request to enter default form.

The exact language of the rejection notice says….

Prior to the submission of the Judgment, the Default must be entered. In the alternative, submit a Judicial Council form FL-130, Appearance, Stipulations and Waivers [revised January 2011] signed by both parties (and their counsel, if any) and include the first appearance fee of $ . Make check payable to L.A.S.C.

Below is the audio and written explanation

Here is how to fix the rejection on the FL-165

Today were talking about one of the reasons your judgment can be rejected. This article is talking about when you turn in your divorce judgment to the court and it is rejected because you did not file the request to enter default form FL 165.

You see when you turn in your divorce judgment and the other party has not responded this becomes what is known as a default case. It is a default case because the other party did not file a response. That is all it means when filing the default.

So to correct this issue if you had your judgment rejected because you did not file the request to enter default all you need to do is resubmit your judgment and then include the request to enter default form.

Make sure when you are filing a request to enter default that you have signed all four places on the form. I see often that people make the mistake of not signing the first line on the first page because they think it says attorney. But that signature line is for you to sign it’s written poorly and it makes it look like it should only be for an attorney but that is for you to sign.

Make sure to have an original and three copies of the request to enter default when you submit this to court with your judgment and don’t forget to include two envelopes each addressed to one of the parties and make sure to put postage on the envelope.

And finally, remember that you cannot submit The request to enter default any sooner than 30 days from the date of service of the petition. If you delete the request to enter default form any sooner than the 30 days from the date the other party was served your request to enter default will be rejected.

Courts Require Joinder When Filing QDRO But The Plan May Not

I have been getting a lot of calls regarding the Joinder and QDRO process and a few times it has come up where I am being advised by the client that the pension plan or 401k plan is not requiring the joinder. So I wanted to clear this issue up.

While the plan may not require the Joinder (and this is rare) it is the Court that requires the Joinder whenever you are dividing a pension and are going to file a QDRO. In fact, if you try to file a QDRO with the court without the Joinder, the Court will reject the QDRO filing and ask that you first file the Joinder.

Listen for more info on the Joinder / QDRO process and / or keep reading below…
I recorded this podcast while on a walk so there is a little background wind noise…

We had a new client call us the other day and say they tried to file their QDRO and it was rejected by the court. The court indicated that the plan needs to be first joined to the dissolution action. See below reject sheet.

QDRO Reject Letter
QDRO Reject Letter

But what does it mean to “Join?”  In the simplest terms it just means you are joining or bringing the QDRO process into the divorce case and essentially adding the plan as a party to the case.   So once the plan in joined to the divorce case, the court will be able to process the QDRO.

I also wrote another article about the actual QDRO process here.

If you have any questions about our service of preparing and handling your Joinder / QDRO please give us a call.

My Santa Clarita Divorce Was Never Finished: How To Finish Your Divorce

We get a lot of people who call us who have started their Santa Clarita divorce and never finished it. Many are aware that they never finished their Santa Clarita divorce and others thought their Santa Clarita divorce was finished, but they later came to learn that it was not finished. Sometimes, many, many years later. In this video we discuss how to locate your Santa Clarita divorce case and why it is best to see if the Santa Clarita divorce case is still active.

Below if the video and podcast.


Can’t Find My Spouse : Santa Clarita Divorce Service By Publication Process

When you are getting a divorce, part of the process is that the other person has to be served. There is no way around this. As with any legal proceeding there has to be notice given which is known as “service”. Your divorce case cannot be completed, or even really started until the other person is served.

Here is the video and podcast.


But what happens when the other party cannot be located our found. How can you serve someone if you don’t know where they are? Believe it or not, this is happens more than you would think.

There is a process that allows you to serve your spouse through a process called Service By Publication. I explain in detail in the video above.

Santa Clarita Divorce : How To Start Divorce Process With Divorce 661

We get asked a lot on how to start the divorce process with our service.  My answer is always the same.

We make is very easy to start your divorce case. Because we are a full service divorce firm and serve all of California, one of the most popular ways to get started is right over the phone or via email.  A lot of people don’t know that the initial divorce forms the court needs to start your divorce case can have a scanned signature.  They do not need the original signatures on these documents.

Therefore, there is no need for an actual in office appointment.  In fact, for many of our clients we complete the entire divorce case via email and over the phone. Here is the video and podcast.


We try to make the divorce process as convenient as possible for you to get your California divorce case started and finished using our divorce service.