How can I move a divorce along if I did not respond to the petitioner? 11 Answers as of April 20, 2011

My ex husband to be filed for our divorce as the petitioner. When I got the papers served to me, I did not respond, thinking that he would file a default order and complete the process. Only later did I find out that he never followed through, and it has been 5 years since he served me! Needless to say, I wanted to take care of this matter, so I filed my response with the court, along with the income statements and related materials. That was in April 2010. The response was mailed to him back in April, but he has still never responded! I am trying to find out what action I can take as the respondent to get this marriage dissolved. I cannot file a default because I am the respondent. Please help!

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Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
There are various disclosure documents that need to be served between you both, then you can ask the court to set a trial date. The court does not help you make your case move along. However, because of the age of the case, the court may dismiss the case if there are no orders for custody, and you will have to start all over again, and pay the fees again. I can help you conclude the case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/20/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
The Court can dismiss a case that hasn't gone to trial or been resolved within five years of its filing, so you run a risk of dismissal, but in my experience, the Courts have not been very diligent in enforcing the 5-year statute. Your best bet would be to retain a competent Family Law Attorney to represent you,prepare and serve your Declarations of Disclosure,do whatever discovery may be appropriate, andset the matter fortrial.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/28/2010
Saddleback Law Center
Saddleback Law Center | Paris Kalor
You could go to the self-help center of the courthouse and ask them for the forms relating to the Judgment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/28/2010
Diefer Law Group, P.C.
Diefer Law Group, P.C. | Abel Fernandez
You can still proceed forward. You can set it for trial to get the case finalized.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/27/2010
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
You can file a form with the court requesting a status conference or case management conference. You can find the local forms on your local county court website that need to be filed with the court clerk to set up a status or case management conference. You can also go to your local court's self-help center and ask them to assist in filling out the proper form to get a status conference put on the court's calendar.

At the status conference, the judge will order whatever steps in the process need to occur (based on whatever the current circumstances are at that time) to keep the case moving. Additionally, in many counties, the court will make a referral for the parties to the self-help center on the very same day of the status conference, where both spouses can then take steps to finalize their divorce right then and there, of course, depending on what issues need to be resolved and whether the parties can agree to resolve such issues. If not, then the court will order additional steps to eventually get the parties' case finished, such as a settlement conference and then trial.

If you want a more detailed explanation, feel free to contact me office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/27/2010
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    I would be happy to help you. Please give me a call.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    You must set for trial or work out MSA with your ex.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Cutter & Lax, Attorneys at Law
    Cutter & Lax, Attorneys at Law | Matthew E. Lax
    You can either stipulate to a judgment of divorce with the Petitioner, or, if he does not want to stipulate, you can request a trial setting so that the court can grant the divorce. An attorney could help you with the procedural issues. If you are looking to hire an attorney, feel free to contact me at the number below for a consult.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    You need to have him sign the needed Settlement and Judgment papers or you
    need to set a Trial date.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 12/27/2010
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