What Can I Do?
Don’t Panic – Make a Plan – Take Action
1. Don’t Ignore it
Your first instinct may be to contact your spouse and negotiate with them or try to reconcile. While this is always an option, you need to keep in mind that if you live in California, you have 30 days, after you are served, to file a response with the court. There is a specific court form that you need to file and the court charges a fee, unless you qualify for a fee waiver.
2. File Your Response with the Court
It is not enough to fill out the correct court form and mail a copy to your spouse or their attorney. You must file the Response with the court clerk in the county in which your divorce action is pending. If you fail to do this within the required number of days, your spouse can apply to the clerk of the court to take your default. This affects your rights and may impact the property, custody and/or support orders made in the court action.
3. Get information
Having accurate information will increase your odds of receiving a fair settlement or court order in your family law matter. Whether you ultimately decide to hire an attorney or not, consulting with a family law attorney will provide you with valuable information and insight into the legal process.