By Amanda Singer
When you’re getting divorced in San Diego, there are a few options of how the divorce gets finalized. It can be contested, meaning that both parties argue and go to court over the issues. It can be uncontested, meaning that the parties have an agreement over all of the issues that are submitted to the court. Or it can be a default divorce in San Diego. A default divorce can either be with a written agreement or without a written agreement.
Default Divorce with an Agreement
A default divorce in San Diego with a written agreement is very similar to an uncontested divorce in that the parties have a written agreement that deals with all of their issues that are submitted to the court and entered with their agreement. The difference for a default divorce in San Diego and an uncontested divorce in San Diego is that for a default divorce the parties are not required to pay the second $435 filing fee to the court because the respondent does not make an appearance, and instead, the agreement MUST be notarized. The final paperwork also can’t be filed until 31 days after the Respondent was served. While this sounds very appealing to most clients because who wouldn’t want to avoid paying the court more filing fees than necessary, it’s not always possible for all clients.
There are certain situations where the court will require both parties to make an appearance (not in person but through paperwork) and pay their filing fee. Whenever the parties need a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relations Order used to divide a qualified retirement account such as a 401k, 403b or Pension), both parties must have paid their filing fee, or the court will not accept it. Additionally, when there are children and the parties may need to go back to change things about their agreement in the future, we don’t advise doing a default divorce in San Diego because if you go back to the court later, they’re going to ask for the $435 fee at that time.
Default Divorce Without an Agreement
A default divorce in San Diego without a written agreement is a way to be divorced even if the other person wants nothing to do with it. Basically, in California even if you don’t want the divorce and your spouse does so long as certain steps are followed, they can still get the divorce. For a default divorce in San Diego without a written agreement the original filed petition must include everything that you are asking for and then must be served on the other party either by mail or by personal service. Once the petition is served, then the Petitioner must wait 31 days before they can file the default judgment paperwork with the court. When filing the default divorce in San Diego the Petitioner is the only one required to sign the final documents, and the court will enter whatever judgment the Petitioner asked for so long as the Petition was completed correctly, served and the Judgment doesn’t ask for anything not requested in the Petition.
Have questions about a default divorce in San Diego? Contact San Diego Family Mediation Center at (858) 736-3411 to schedule a FREE consult to discuss your case.