When you get served with a divorce, it is a shock. It is easy to think irrationally. Even to refuse to sign the document. Whether you sign the papers or not, your divorce process has begun.
There are two parties in a divorce. One is the spouse that makes the application to divorce (PETITIONER); and the other is the spouse who was served with divorce papers (RESPONDENT). How the divorce proceeds will depend on the respondent.
A contested divorce is when the respondent doesn’t agree with one or all terms of the separation. This may involve:
- Division of Property
- Child custody
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- And more…
If you are the respondent, and you do not agree with the terms of the divorce, it is essential you contest the divorce papers. These documents have to be addressed to the court with the help of a lawyer specialized in family cases.
An uncontested divorce Is when the respondent doesn´t sign or respond to the divorce paper; or when the respondent agrees with all of the terms. In the case that the respondent didn’t answer in time, (s)he automatically loses the right to negotiate for conditions that are in his or her best interest.
If I´ve only been married for a short period of time, shouldn’t my divorce be easier?
The divorce process is not impacted by the length of marriage as much as the following variables:
· Shared property
· Child support
· Child custody
· Spousal Support
Usually, the respondent has 30 days to respond to divorce papers; if the respondent doesn’t answer, it can result in a default judgment, which means the terms proposed by the petitioner will be accepted. The respondent will lose the right to fight for conditions that are more favorable to their situation.
If you recently have been served with divorce papers in Long Beach, Seal Beach, Lakewood, Palos Verdes, San Pedro, Newport Beach, or Los Angeles; we can help you to understand what the documents say and how you should respond. William D. Evans family law attorneys are here to help you. Call us to schedule a free consultation at 562-439-9001.