How to File a Response after being served with Papers in California


How to File a Response after being served with Papers in California


Time to File Response

You must file a response to the divorce petition within 30 days from the day you’re served with the petition. If you do not file a timely response to the petition, your spouse can ask the court to proceed with the divorce action and the judge can base the judgment on only the information provided by your spouse.

What are your options?

Your options include, Doing Nothing or Request a Default Judgment with Agreement or File a Response.

Option to Do Nothing

Firstly, you do not have to respond to your spouse’s divorce petition. However, if you fail to file a response, the court may likely grant your spouse’s requests outlined in the Petition docs.  In other words, the judge will base his decision about children and property issues and other relevant legal matters on the information your spouse provided in the Petition docs. You will not have a say in this decision-making process. However, this may be a perfectly reasonable option for short term marriages with no children, property, or debt.

If you decide there are no issues in dispute and to not file a formal response, your spouse may file a Request to Enter Default. Once a default is entered, the case is allowed to proceed unilaterally by the petitioner. Also, note that the petitioner can take the default of the respondent any time on or after the 31st day after you were served with papers.

Option to Request a Default Judgment by Agreement

If you and your spouse have reached an agreement regarding all relevant legal matters in your divorce, the petitioner and the respondent may sign a marital settlement agreement.  By signing a MSA, you would not have to file a formal response to the petition.  Both parties benefit from this option because it allows both parties to take part in the divorce and the agreement process. Plus, it avoids the unnecessary and added expense of paying the respondent’s first appearance court filing fee. Ultimately, if both parties agree to sign the MSA, the divorce remains as uncontested divorce.

Option to File a Response

When there is no option to Do Nothing or no MSA, you may want to file a formal response to a California divorce petition.  For example, if you disagree with anything your spouse requests in the petition, you should file a response. Filing a response would result in a contested divorce. However, even if you believe you may eventually reach an agreement via MSA on the issues, you may still want to file a response.

If the petitioner procrastinates and does not cooperate with attempts to reach a marital settlement agreement, you may want to file a response to prevent the petitioner from taking a default. Then, by making a court appearance you may facilitate the MSA agreement on legal issues. Plus, a court appearance will prevent an unexpected “surprise” default judgment down the road, if the petitioner decided to not cooperate with resolving issues.

Also understand, that filing a response to a California divorce petition will result in the court making the final decisions on contested issues. Except, if the parties later agree between themselves via a MSA, the court will review the MSA and use it to determine the division of the marital estatechild custody and visitation, and child support. Without a MSA the court will determine the issues for you.

30-Day Deadline for Response to California Divorce Petition

You may file a response up to 30 days after the date of service. However, if you fail to file a response or request an extension by the specified deadline, the Petitioner may go to the county clerk and file Request to Enter Default and thereafter, a default judgment against you. Also know that a response is considered incomplete if it does not meet all applicable legal requirements of California law. If you believe you were not properly served or the court does not have personal jurisdiction to hear the divorce case, you can respond with a motion to quash.

Filing Your Response at Court

You must arrange to serve your spouse with a copy of your signed response forms before you file it with the court. Arrange for an adult to mail a copy of the response to your spouse at the address given in the heading of the petition. You cannot do this yourself. Ask the person mailing the document to complete a proof of service form stating the time and place of mailing. Make copies of the response and the proof of service.  File the originals with the court and ask the court to file-stamp the copies. You will need to pay a filing free.


Our Law Office of Don Glass, charges a flat legal fee of $295.00 to prepare the initial response forms and we may also handle filing and serving your response forms.
We handle cases in all cities in California Statewide.

For more info, please visit our website at

Or call 877-631-4644 or 951-501-3554 or 619-821-8846 or 415-223-1230



Right to be Happy

Happy Divorce Choice

Don Glass, Esq., at California Online Divorce, believes that everyone has the right to be happy.  And, if getting a divorce is the only way for you to feel happy again, we support your decision.


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Making Divorce AS Stress-Free and Fast as possible

California Online Divorce Attorney Stress Free Divorce


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But even for a non-contest, uncontested divorce, you need legal advice.

But even for a non-contest, uncontested divorce, you need legal advice.
But you probably don’t need representation in court, and you don’t need to be charged $2000 or MORE by a Traditional lawyer for a simple uncontested divorce.
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What is Uncontested Divorce?

What is Uncontested Divorce?


Law Offices of Don Glass
California Statewide – all 58 Counties


$395 Flat Fee Divorce Attorney Services
$695 Flat Fee divorce Attorney Services



What is Uncontested Divorce?


A no-contest (or uncontested) divorce is simply a divorce where you and your spouse/partner are generally in agreement. It may not be that the two of you are in agreement on every single minor issue in your divorce. You both certainly don’t have to be happy about the divorce or with each other. However, it does mean that the spouse who does not file the case will not file a Response to contest the divorce on any issue, whether large or small.

The large majority of divorces in California are uncontested cases. They do not require a trial or court hearing. They rarely require any mediation. There is a possibility for a small amount of negotiation between the parties – certainly pre-filing, or even post-filing if unanticipated problems arise, providing that the negotiations mean that you and your spouse return to substantial agreement in the case.

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Waiver of Divorce Court Filing Fees in California

Waiver of Divorce Court Filing Fees in California



Waiver of Divorce Court Filing Fees in California

$395 Low Income Uncontested Divorce Lawyer for clients who
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Designed for Clients who receive Government Assistance to Qualify for a Waiver of Court Filing Costs and want a Quick Low Cost Uncontested True Default Divorce. Clients receive Lawyer advice from Start to Finish. Clients login to our modern online technology to complete the online attorney interview. Lawyer prepares the divorce forms from Start to Final Judgment. All docs are emailed to Clients with written instructions to file & serve the docs themselves. Only $95 to Start & Pay-As-You Go payments.


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You may qualify for a fee waiver in three ways: if you are receiving public benefits such as Medi-Cal, Food Stamps (CalFresh), Cal-Works, General Assistance, SSI, SSP, Tribal TANF, IHHS or CAPI; if your household income before taxes is less than the amount listed on Form FW-011 in Item 5b; or if the court determines that you do not have adequate income to pay for your basic household needs and court costs.

What is a filing fee? 

A filing fee is the amount of money you must pay to the court to begin your court case.  The amount of money you have to pay depends on the court and the type of case.  You may have to pay other filing fees at certain times during your case.  The court clerk can give you a list of all the filing fees for your court case so you know the total cost.


Step 1

Obtain the Information Sheet on Waiver of Superior Court Fees and Costs (Form FW-001-INFO) and Request to Waive Court Fees (Form FW-001) from your county clerk’s office or download the forms from the Web.

Step 2

Sign the Request to Waive Court Fees (Form FW-001) under penalty of perjury. You must tell the truth on this form. All answers must be accurate and complete.

Step 3

File your divorce paperwork and fee waiver application together. You can mail the documents to your county court or file them in person.


Law Offices of Don Glass, Esq – 951-501-3554 – $695 Flat Legal Fee Uncontested Divorce