It is hard to end a marriage. When you walked down the aisle, maybe you were in heels that echoed through the cathedral hall with every step or perhaps you walked barefooted with toes sunken into the sands of a California beach. Either way, the day was dreamy, and you hoped to make it work “until death do us part.”
After a number of years slugging it out and not finding your way back to that dream, maybe you have decided to call it quits, against your better judgment and against your friends’ best advice. Torn, then, you simply do not respond to your spouse’s petition for divorce. How can you reply and make yourself and everyone else happy?
What happens when you do not respond is your case becomes “uncontested” or a “default.” According to the Judicial Council of California, truly defaulting in this situation means giving up your rights to any input in the case, and most people would rather have their voices heard than end up completely shut out.
California’s Judicial Council says not responding to your spouse’s petition does not have to equal giving up your right to input, so it offers some recommendations for coming to an agreement. You probably want to discuss child custody and support arrangements if the two of you share children. Talking about dividing your property may also help you come to an amicable decision. If spousal support should be part of an agreement, it should also be on the table for discussion.
Note this information intends to educate regarding uncontested divorce and does not provide legal advice.