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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca408-395-8822
20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212, Los Gatos, CA 95030
Offering Limited Scope Service
Mediation and Litigation

After the Divorce Papers Are Served

Posted on in Divorce

California divorce attorney, California mediation lawyer, Perhaps you and your spouse sat down and shared a lengthy conversation about what is wrong in the marriage and determined the situation as irreparable. On the other hand, maybe you knew that there were difficulties, but assumed there was nothing you could not work out together. No matter the situation leading to this point, nothing adequately prepares you for the moment you receive divorce papers, even if you saw it coming. What happens next? Do you have to reply? What happens if you refuse? These questions and more often come to the forefront of thought during this time.

The Papers

Although it is preferable that both spouses be aware of a pending divorce request, sometimes it is not feasible. In California and trending in other states, there is no requirement that both parties agree about the end. If one person wants out of the union, regardless of the intent of the respondent (the party who received the divorce petition papers), there is little possibility of preventing the court from approving the split. It is also unnecessary to prove fault in this no-fault divorce state. The grounds for divorce in California are irreparable differences. Upon receiving a divorce petition, the options dwindle to responding, or not responding.

The Non-Responsive Solution

Unfortunately, if you prefer to keep the marriage going, ignoring the papers or refusing to sign will not prevent the case from proceeding. The only way to stop a divorce is to change the mind of the person who filed the petition. If you do not respond to the petition for dissolution in a timely manner, the petitioner will have all of the requirements met for  a “default judgment”, if a proof of service of the petition is filed and if the petitioner prepares a declaration of disclosure and proof of service of the declaration of disclosure is filed.

Response Options

It is important to read over the documentation carefully. The petition document explains what the petitioner requests. The summons portion outlines what to expect as well as limitations on the movement of property and children. At this point, you can choose to respond by either agreeing or disagreeing with the request. You must file a response within 30 days of receipt of the petition unless you obtain an extension from petitioner. If you agree to the terms laid out by the other party, you will file as uncontested. If you do not agree, you must file a response setting forth your objections to petitioner’s request and your proposal.

Contested Case

You may agree with some of the points your partner requested and not others or you may disagree with the whole petition. If you do not fully agree with the document, it is in your best interest to find a solution that works for both parties. One such method that is gaining popularity is divorce mediation, where together with a neutral party you compromise to find a solution that is mutually agreed upon by each party. We can help you privately reach an amicable solution wherever possible.

If you would like to discuss the divorce process with a San Jose, CA divorce attorney, contact the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca today by calling 408-395-8822 to schedule your free initial consultation. With over 35 years of experience in the San Jose and Los Gatos area, Attorney Benita Ventresca has built a reputation for understanding her clients and assisting in finding long-term and amicable solutions.



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Law Offices of Benita Ventresca

20 S. Santa Cruz Ave., Suite 212
Los Gatos, CA 95030

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Conveniently located in downtown los gatos and
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