If you have been served with a petition and summons, you must take action within a certain amount of time. Otherwise, your divorce will be considered uncontested and you may forfeit your rights in the divorce. It is always advisable you either respond in a timely manner or try to reach an agreement over the matters of the divorce with your spouse.

If you have been served with divorce papers, and choose to respond, you have 30 days from the date you were served in which to file a response. Your response is a very important part of your divorce case. If you wish to respond but want guidance on what you should say, speak with an experienced California family law attorney.

Your response should be worded very carefully in order to clearly and respectfully propose changes to any of the issues in the petition. To do so, you need a clear idea of what you disagree with and what you want to be changed.

Keep in mind that there are certain guidelines for what can request in your divorce. For example, if you have a minor child, you cannot refuse to pay child support. Or, if you feel a 50/50 division of property is unfair, you cannot propose a 70/30 division instead. A lot of information goes into the response. Take caution when filing it out and always have an attorney or a family law facilitator review it prior to submission. Not filling it out properly can mean more conflict and potentially more time in court.

If you choose to not file a response with the court, but rather want to work out an agreement with your spouse directly, you and your spouse will have to draft a written agreement and have it notarized for submission to the court. In the agreement, you will need to agree on such issues as custody and timesharing, the division of debts and assets, spousal support and child support orders. If you are in disagreement about anything, you must take additional action to resolve those issues, either through attempting mediation or addressing the issues in court.

Once this written agreement is notarized, and at least 30 days have passed since you were served, the petitioner to the action must fill out the rest of the final forms and submit them all to the court.

Are you in Los Angeles County and have some questions about what to do once you’ve been served? Certified Family Law Specialist Steven Fernandez has significant experience handling Los Angeles County divorces and can help you respond quickly and appropriately. Representing individuals in Los Angeles and surrounding areas,

Steven Fernandez will help ensure your divorce is handled efficiently and effectively. Call our office at 310-564-5710; email us at intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.