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Default

Generally, if your spouse did not file a Response, then you may enter a default against him/her to request a default judgment that includes all the orders you requested in your Petition.  This instruction sheet will review the procedure and forms necessary to obtain a default judgment.

Before following these instructions you must satisfy the following:

  • You started a divorce, legal separation or annulment case by properly filing legal papers with the Court;
  • The other party was properly served with a copy of your legal papers and financial disclosure information;
  • You completed the Parenting Class if you have minor children of the marriage - (805) 781-5423;
  • 30 days have passed from the date of service and the other party has not filed an FL-120 Response;
  • The other party is not an active duty military person;
  • You are only requesting those items listed on the FL-100 Petition.

Next, you need to decide whether to proceed with or without a court hearing to obtain a Default Judgment.

In some cases, you may obtain a default judgment by mail without appearing in front of a judge.  In other cases, you will need to schedule a hearing in front of the judge in order to finalize your case.  If you schedule a default hearing, the other party will not get notice of the default hearing, so only you will be present at the hearing.  At the default hearing the judge will make orders regarding all the issues in your case including the status of your marriage, custody and visitation of your children, child support, spousal support and division of assets and debts.  If you have questions about any of these issues you should contact an attorney or the Self-Help Center / Family Law Facilitator for further assistance.

The following information will help you decide whether you need to schedule a default hearing or not.

  • Annulment: Schedule a default hearing if you are requesting an annulment. You must request a default hearing in front of a judicial officer and you should follow the hearing instructions below on how to request a default hearing;
  • Restricted Visitation, Spousal Support, Unequal Division:  Schedule a default hearing if you are requesting No or Supervised Visitation, Specific Amount of Spousal Support or Terminating Spousal Support in a 10+ year Marriage or Unequal Division of Property.  In these cases it is easier for the Self-Help Center / Family Law Facilitator Office to help you if you request a default hearing.

You must choose one of the following Default Judgment options to finalize your case: