If one spouse does not participate in a divorce, a default judgment can be entered which prevents the non responding party from participating in the divorce. This is the situation that John* found himself in after a entry of default for a divorce was ordered after his wife, Debra, had filed for dissolution. The problem with Debra’s petition, however, was that Debra had filed for divorce and did not list all of the community property in her petition. Instead she used language that is common in divorce proceedings. The paperwork stated that all assets and debts could not be ascertained at the time of the filing and that the petition would be updated later. The challenge with leaving this information vague, is that if a spouse does not respond, then generally the court cannot make orders beyond what is listed by the petitioner. Luckily for Debra, she had listed property on her schedule of assets and debts which gave John notice of the property that the court would divide. In respect to the assets listed, John knew that the court would divide those assets making any division of those assets valid.
A default judgment is entered when someone does not file paperwork after being served with petition for divorce. After a person is served with divorce papers, that person has thirty days to respond to them. If no response is made, a default judgment is entered which prevents the person who failed to respond to the divorce proceedings from participating in the divorce proceedings. The problem with a default judgment is that it is limited to the request made in the initial divorce papers. If the person asking for the divorce does not list all of the community assets and debts in the petition, then the court may only enter orders that affect property if they are listed in a declaration of disclosure.
If you need a divorce lawyer in the Orange County area to discuss a family law matter such as a default judgment or any other dissolution issue such as child support, custody, transmutation, spousal support, or property division, contact Treviño Law, Inc. Conveniently located off of the 5 and 405 freeway at Lake Forest.
Although the posting of this information can be considered free legal advice for an Orange County divorce, it does not guarantee a result. There may be other circumstances that play a significant role in any dissolution which may alter the outcome of a divorce. A divorce lawyer will be knowledgeable about the significance of facts. Those factors should be reviewed and argued by a family law attorney in Orange County.
Please note that this legal advice does not establish a family law attorney-client relationship. This is a legal advertisement for Treviño Law, Inc, an Orange County family law firm.
*The names of the individuals involved come from actual court records that are part of the public record and are not clients of Trevino Law.