Should I Respond To Being Served California Divorce Petition?

Hi, Tim Blankenship here with and in this video we’re talking about what happens when you don’t respond to a divorce petition. So when you are served you generally have 30 days to file your response. But many times it may not be necessary. I want to give you a few examples.

I’m not telling you not to respond. I’m telling you in certain circumstances it might make sense not to respond. So when we handle our divorce cases we frequently will not have the other party respond because they are in agreement, they both have hired us to assist them and we’re trying to save them some money on fees.

So if you’re going to go through a divorce and you’re amicable you can do this in a way where you don’t have to respond. It’s called a default with an agreement and that’s the process we put our clients through. Now 1 other thing I want to touch on, if you do not file a response the other answer to this question is the party who filed and who served you can get exactly what they asked for in the petition, and that’s all.

So many times when people say Tim I was served and 30 days have passed and I’m concerned if I don’t respond you know, the summons says they’re going to get everything they want. That’s true, but they’re only going to get everything they want which they included in the petition. So for example, if you did not list any information as far as assets or debt in this petition you can’t ask for any assets or debts in your default judgment. So you’d have to refile and amend your petition.

So it becomes a problem on the default cases. If you only put joint legal and joint physical custody and non specific parenting plan, meaning you didn’t put dates, times of custody, or visitation with the children you cannot then add that into default judgment. So many times when people call me and say Tim, my spouse didn’t respond, I want to file a default and I’ll ask them 1st are you in agreement.

If they are then we will do it as a default with agreement because many times when it’s a true default where the other party’s not prepared to participating at all, once I look at the petition I’ll inform the client that we can’t, we can file the default but this is a limitation what you can ask for.

Tim Blankenship, Hope you’re having a great day. Thanks for watching, talk to you soon.