Property Division Issues With California Default Divorce Cases

California Default Divorce Property Division Issues

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with and today we’re talking about the different styles of divorce procedurally and in this case, were talking about a default divorce.

A default in this case, a true default where the respondent does not respond nor do they participate or do anything what so ever. So, when you’re going through a default style divorce where the other party is not going to participate at all there is a particular way you need to file your divorce petition and in doing so essentially, when you file your petition you literally have to prepare it as if you are preparing your judgment in essence, meaning because the other party is not going to be involved.

If there is assets and debts when you file the petition you have to also include your FL 160 property declarations and you have to write down every single asset and debt, just like you would on the judgment or marital settlement agreement, to include how each community property asset and separate property asset and debt are going to be divided and the majority of time you’re going to have to divide everything 50/50.

So I tell people the true default divorce cases should be as a last resort, we should always try and get the cooperation of the other party and in fact that’s what we have our clients do, if they say Tim we’re doing a default I ask why, they say well we don’t want to have to file the response and pay the other fee.

I say then fine we’ll do a default with agreement the other party can be involved, it will keep you out of court and it’s much easier and you have the latitude to be able to make decisions regarding the division of assets and debts, as opposed to just going the 50 50 route, as would be required on a default because the courts have to follow California law.

So I know that’s a lot of information that I went over quickly but at the end of the day, let’s say you file for divorce and you didn’t put any assets or debts on the petition, let’s say you said to be amended or will update as we go, then let’s say the case turns into a default meaning the other party is not going to participate.

In that case you’re going to have to amend your petition and then attach your property declarations and then refile it and reserve it so, you basically have to start over if it turns into a default unless you knew it was going to be a default from the onset.

So, if you have any questions on this please give me a call, we do handle divorce cases throughout California, or give me a call 661 281 0266. Thanks for listening.