Names Must Match On Summons And Petition California Divorce

Names Must Match On Summons And Petition California Divorce

Today what we’re talking about specifically is something that is very important. You need to watch out for when filling out your summons and petition.

This boils down to this. The name you use for the petitioner or the respondent on your summons and petition specifically in all forms in your divorce need to be the same.

We’re getting a lot of clients who are coming to us who tried to start their own divorce and what they’re doing is they’re filing out the summons and petition but the names are not matching, meaning they are making a slight change.

Maybe it’s middle initial. Maybe it is using a full first name instead of short name like Thomas versus Tom.

And the problem with that and this will be the biggest error that you can make because when you file you divorce papers, your summons and petition these are the first documents you file.

Nobody is reviewing these, no one is going to verify and make sure you did this right.

So the problem with this is if you started with John Smith as a respondent and Jane Smith on the summon. You’re going to want these exact same names on the summons as you do the petition.

What we are finding is that clients are coming to use because they are trying to do their own case and they are getting their cases rejected because the names on the summons and petition don’t match.

And the first time that this will be an issue when you’ll find out is not when you filed this. So, I’ll give you an example.

Let’s say you as petitioner are actually Jane T. Smith and you put Jane T. Smith on the petitioner but on the summons you have Jane Smith.

When you go to file either your judgment or your request to enter default, this is the first time that the clerk will actually look at your forms.

If they notice and they will that you have Jane Smith on the summons yet on the petition you have Jane T. Smith, they’re going to say these are not the same two people, the names of the petitioner do not match on the name on the summons and the petition.

Now, here’s what is going to have happen. No matter where you are at in your case, if you just did this and then you noticed it.

Because the court is not going to tell you if you file your request to enter default or you filed your judgement.

When your case gets rejected and it will for this reason alone, you’re going to have to do the following.

You’re going to have to re-file your summons and petition, you’re going to have to mark the amended box and you’re going to have to correct the name, and you’re going to have to re-file it, and then guess what?

You’re going to have to re-serve it.

So, if it’s by mail or by personal service, it has to be re-served and guess what? Remember that thirty days that had to go by before you can submit your request to enter default or your judgment?

That’s right, you have to wait another thirty days thus giving the other party another chance to respond to the case.

If you’re kind of one of those cases where you’re hoping they don’t respond that you just want to put this through on your own and do a default case, you’re giving the respondent another chance to respond because you have to wait another thirty days after filing the amended summons and petitions and then serving it on them and waiting for thirty days.

So keep that in mind, what we recommend is the best practice is whatever name you have in the initial documents would be the same with your judgment or request to enter default and on all forms moving forward on your divorce.

This is Tim Blankenship with We can help you with your divorce anywhere in California.

Make sure to give us a call, we can help you from the very beginning or pick up where you left off or having trouble with your case. We’ll talk to you soon!