During a Divorce or Dissolution of Registered Domestic Partnership Case
If you have been given copies of papers that have been filed with the court showing that your spouse or partner is asking the court to end your legal relationship -- either your marriage or your registered domestic partnership -- you need to:
- Read these papers carefully, and
- Decide what you will do next.
REMEMBER: If you do nothing, after 30 (thirty) days you could be "in default." If this happens, your spouse or partner can proceed with the divorce without your participation. By doing nothing, you are giving up your right to have any say in your divorce settlement
The information in this section will help you if you decide to participate in your court case:
The court requires people to follow certain procedures in just the right way. For that reason, it is best that you follow each stop listed below one at a time, and in the order they are listed.
If you are responding to papers that ask the court to end your legal relationship you need to:
First, read Starting a Divorce Case - how it works.
Next, read About Temporary orders
Then, follow these steps one at a time:
Step 1: Get and complete the appropriate court forms
Step 2: File your court forms
Step 3: Give other side copies of your court forms
Step 4: Tell court that the forms were served
Step 5: Share information about what you own and what you owe
Step 6: Finish a Divorce case: Options
A - Finish a 'True' Default Case
B - Finish a Default Case
C - Finish an Uncontested Case
D - Finish a Contested Case
Step 7: If you have a court hearing
For more information about what happens after the judge signs the order (After you get Your Judgment), click here.
At any time, you can:
- Read answers for Frequently Asked Questions about divorce.
- Read some general information about How Courts Work, click here.
- Watch some videos with general information about how California's court system works, click here.
- Watch some short videos with information on "Paperwork Basics" (forms), "Service of Process" and "Tips on Going to Court", click here.
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