I had a good question come up on our divorce chat service today. This individual was searching for “how to dismiss your California divorce case”
The specific issue that they were facing is that they had filed for divorce in California, but had not served the divorce papers. The divorce courts are now setting a case status conference if the divorce papers are not filed timely. You can usually expect a hearing to be set within 2 months from the time you filed the divorce papers.
This party had the status conference hearing coming up pretty soon and did not have time to serve her spouse. She wanted to know if she should go to the hearing and if her husband would have to attend.
If you have a case status conference coming up at the beginning of your divorce, in most cases it will not be with the judge. It will be with the Facilitators office and they just want to see what is happening with your case. Sometimes the letter regarding the hearing states that your case will be dismissed if the Respondent has not been served prior to the hearing. So make sure to read the notice of motion closely.
I advised her that she should go to the hearing to avoid potentially having the case dismissed. If this were to happen, she would have to refile her divorce. This means filing out all the paperwork again and paying the filing fee again.
I also advised her to simply explain what was going on. In her case, she was not sure if she wanted to continue with the divorce. Since her husband already new she had filed, I told her it would be best to have him served and then just let the case sit with the court.
There are other reasons you may not have served your spouse. I get a lot of calls from folks asking what they should do when they don’t know where their spouse is and that is the reason they have not been served.
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