Is there a way to respond to a divorce in California after the 30 days have passed? 10 Answers as of January 28, 2011

We went to a mediator and she said I do not have to respond as long as we are in mediation. Now the 30 days to respond has passed and I am feeling nervous. Can I respond late?

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Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
After 30 days, your spouse can file a request for default. However, if you are participating in mediation, your spouse likely will not do so. It is best to clarify this and get a written stipulation that you will have a certain period to file your Response if negotiations break down.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/28/2011
Law Office of John C. Volz
Law Office of John C. Volz | John C. Volz
Yes, you may respond anytime before a default is entered against you. Additionally, the courts generally will "set aside" a default in the event that one was taken while you were attempting to settle the matter.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/27/2011
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz
Law Office of Joseph A. Katz | Joseph A. Katz
In my opinion, the Mediator is technically wrong, but as a practical matter no judge (intelligent, fair Judge, anyway) will grant a default for an opposing litigant while the other litigant is In Propria Persona (representing themselves) and responds within a reasonable period of time (even if you file after 30 days), or while the litigants are still attempting to resolve the case. Even if a default was granted, you could get a 'Set Aside', and then file your Response.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Michael Apicella
Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
Yes, you can respond anytime before your spouse takes your default.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
As long as your spouse hasn't already filed a Request to enter your Default, you can file your Response to the Petition. Waste no time in doing so. Your Response must be served by someone over 18 years old, other than you, and a completed and signed Proof of Service will need to be filed at the same time that your Response is filed.

If there are minor children, you will need to prepare and file (and have served) a Response and a Declaration under UCCJEA.

If you can afford to retain a Family Law Attorney, you should do so without delay, because you will need not only to file a Response to the Petition, but you should consult with and receive advice regarding your rights and obligations in advance of the Mediation, since the mediator isn't your attorney and can't give you legal advice.

Also, don't sign a mediation settlement agreement without first consulting with a Family Law Attorney about it and showing it to the Family Law Attorney.

Were your default taken, you would need to act promptly to file a Motion to set aside your default, and you would need the services of a Family Law Attorney to do so.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law
    Edwin Fahlen Attorney at Law | Edwin Fahlen
    It will be foolish to wait without an agreement in writing, as you could be secretly defaulted if your spouse is that type of person.

    Since documents have been filed with the court it is very important that we speak as soon as possible, so I can evaluate your problem, and if hired protect all of your interests, hopefully without going to court.

    The best way to contact me for an immediate response is for you to call.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Maclean Chung Law Firm
    Maclean Chung Law Firm | G. Thomas MacLean Jr.
    Yes, you can still file your response in California even if it is past 30 days. It is common for parties who are negotiating a divorce to withhold filing the response in the matter, but you would want to have an agreement with the other party granting you an extension to file the response late while you negotiate, to insure that they do not attempt to enter a default against you.

    If you feel like it is a contested matter, you may want to file your response as soon as possible to make sure you are not defaulted.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate
    Law Office of Curry & Westgate | Patrick Curry
    You can file a response anytime until default has been entered by the court.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    The passage of 30 days does not prevent you from filing a response, provided that a request for default has not been entered. I would be happy to help you with this process and I have worked with mediators in the past to ensure that you receive a fair resolution to your case. Please contact me today for a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    Yes you can. Make sure to file your response before she establishes you are in Default. It comes at a cost, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
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